4 Winter Survival Tips from a Novice
Published January 18, 2018 by Francesca Robinson, MA in Senior Health & Wellness, Senior Safety
I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Bad news first? It’s still winter.
I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Bad news first? It’s still winter. Now that I live in the northeast I am painfully aware of the fact that it is still winter. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day have all come and gone; the party is most definitely over, but the biting cold remains.
My move from sunny, South Florida to the Northeast has revealed my complete ignorance when it comes to winter survival. Coats, layers, boots, heated mattress pad covers, snow shovels, salt, and car scrapers the world of winter survival and snow removal has required quick learning and a whole lot of purchases. So with my new found knowledge, I thought I’d share some tips I’ve learned from talking to locals, googling, and my limited experience.
4 Winter Survival Tips
1. Clear snow as soon as possible. The 2018 Bomb cyclone hit us this year, producing 8-12 inches of snow and snow drifts much higher. Due to travel and work schedules, clearing the snow in our driveway and pathways wasn’t finished until about 36 hours after the storm. At this point, the snow was heavy and frozen making the removal of it even more difficult than normal. Talking with several local friends, revealed our mistake! Snow removal must start as soon as possible.
2. Know when to ask for help. After our delayed snow removal fiasco, a friend brought over his snow blower, helping us clear the driveway for our cars. Watching all the effort it took to clear a path to and around our cars, I couldn’t help but think about seniors and others who are unable to shovel and remove snow for long periods of time–or any amount of time. According to the American Association of Orthopaedic surgeons, more than 158,000 people were treated in emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, and clinics for injuries that happened while shoveling or removing ice and snow and more than 15,000 people were injured using snowblowers. There are local companies that will come and remove snow or even neighborhood kids who are looking for extra money. Know when to ask for help, and don’t risk injury.
3. Use delivery services to make life easier. Everyday errands seem to require so much more effort during the winter. I think those cold winter days are the perfect time to utilize home delivery services. Groceries can be delivered right to your door and even brought inside to your kitchen. Instacart is one such company that shops at local grocery store chains and will bring your bagged groceries inside your home for you. You will even receive a text message when your shopper starts grocery shopping and when he or she is on the way to your home. Another service is AmazonFresh, which will drop coolers at your front door. Check to see what delivery options are available in your area.
4. Invest in insulated boots. I can tell a big difference in my comfort level when I am wearing insulated boots and when I’m not. Insulated boots are a must even when just walking from the house to the car. Sidewalks and roads are often icy or muddy, and the appropriate footwear will help keep you safe, warm, and dry. We’ve all seen the videos of people slipping and falling in icy conditions the subjects are unharmed and it produces a laugh from the viewer, but the reality of slips and falls isn’t funny at all. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among seniors and the leading cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admission for trauma, according to the Center for Disease Control and prevention. This fact requires us to increase our caution when navigating less than ideal conditions.
And now for the good news–winter doesn’t last forever. Soon it will be spring! The snow and ice will thaw…eventually. Until that day, stay safe and warm!
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