Already?! It seems too early in the season for snow, but Mother Nature did not ask my opinion on this one. Snow flurries in the Boston area made for a lengthy commute to work this morning. While in traffic I was pondering the different reactions to the snow fall. I was slightly irritated because the traffic was challenging. Children in the area were surely joyful, envisioning sledding, ice skating, and snow days in their futures. My thoughts also drifted to the older adults in the area who are impacted by snowfall. While I am sure there are some older adults who are still amazed by the beauty of fresh fallen snow, it is also a hassle that can complicate life a bit.
Older adults must be aware of the fall hazards caused by snow and ice. In the Remembering When™ program, one of the fall safety messages asks folks to be aware of uneven surfaces both indoors and outdoors. Often, when we think about measures to prevent these hazards, we think about using throw rugs with non-skid backing, smoothing out wrinkles in carpeting, and walking in areas where the pavement is smooth. If you live in an area where there is snow and ice, there are extra considerations. Have a plan for clearing snow from outside stairs and walkways. If you have an older relative or friend who could use your assistance, offer to help out and clear the snow from their paths. Use ice melt to reduce the risk of ice on the walkways.
If you would like more information on fall and fire prevention behaviors for older adults, please take a look at the Remembering When™ program on the NFPA website. All Remembering When™ materials are free and available for download to help life safety educators deliver important fire and fall prevention behaviors. Remembering When™ is implemented by members of the fire service and home health visitors to help older adults live safely at home as long as possible. The program was recently updated and has a fresh new look. Check it out!