Winter Walking Safety: No Cane, No Gain!

Walking Safely with a Cane

At SelectCare Home Care Services, we understand that New York winters create a challenge for anyone trying to get around town. But for those of us who already have difficulties walking, an icy sidewalk can be impassable without an assistive device like a cane, rollator, or walker.

While SelectCare’s Home Health Aides  are always available to provide a helpful escort when running errands, there is no substitute for a properly-sized cane or walker kept in good repair.

In order to ensure you get to your destination safely this winter, here are a few basic tips all cane users should know:

  • Make sure your cane provides the right support for your mobility needs. There is no shortage of cane designs to choose from, but the following buyer’s guide can help you make the right choice.
  • A cane only helps if it fits the user’s body. Always check the fit of a cane before making a purchase. The following link provides a helpful video that can help ensure your cane is properly sized.
  • Regularly inspect the rubber tip at the bottom of your cane. This rubber tread is designed to provide traction in slippery conditions, but wears out over time. New tips are an inexpensive way to avoid preventable falls.
  • Some manufacturers offer add-on ice tips for extreme winter weather. These tips are not a fool-proof solution to slips, but can be very helpful if a light frost settles on the ground while you are out of your home and can be purchased at most pharmacies.
  • Finally, be sure you are using the proper technique to get the most out of your cane or walker. If you are unsure how to work the cane into your gait, do not hesitate to ask a medical professional for pointers and a demonstration.

With these guidelines in mind, we wish all of our clients and readers a safe and happy winter season.

SelectCare’s staff is standing by to assist you or a loved one navigate slippery sidewalks during the winter months.  Our Home Health Aides are specially trained in fall prevention techniques to safely escort people who face mobility challenges.

Routine cane and walker safety inspections are part of SelectCare’s Registered Nurse Supervisors monthly client home visits, which we offer all of our clients free of charge.  Call us to set up your free nursing evaluation.