Walking in snow isn’t easy for anyone, and it is especially difficult for people with limited mobility. When the snow has fallen recently, it is crunchy and doesn’t pose too many problems, but when it melts partially, it can get highly slippery. This gives rise to walking problems for everyone, particularly for the disabled. Here are some tips for disabled people to walk on the snowy ground.
For people with walking sticks
A regular walking stick will not give you much grip on the snow. Since the stick comes in contact with a small area on the ground, it does not provide the right balance. There are some sticks that come with spikes. And then there are mobility walkers that have four contact points for added stability. Keep in mind that spiked sticks are not good for non-icy conditions.
Try to walk close to railings or walls so that even if you slip, you’ll always have something to hold. Also, make sure you have a mobile phone in your pocket at all times so that you can call someone in case of an emergency.
For people on mobility scooter and wheelchairs
If you use a cheap mobility scooter or a wheelchair, it wouldn’t be able to carry you on snow. Since cheap models are mostly light weighted, they are unable to form a strong grip on the road. If you use a light wheelchair, it is best to ask someone to push it around instead of operating it on your own.
Mobility scooters and heavier wheelchair can generally work well with snow up to six inches. If the snow is higher than this, it is best to stay at home. If you just have to go out in heavy snow, keep a backup plan so that you can get help if your mobility scooter or wheelchair gets stuck.
For people with crutches
Ask someone to walk you on snowy days. Your friend can help you avoid a dangerous fall. They can also help you open and close doors. If the tips of crutches are worn out, get new rubber tips and replace the old ones. You can use special spiked tips for your crutches as well. Also, wear a good pair of snow boots for safety. Pick boots that have a good tread. Try to avoid stairs if you can. Snow covered stairs are extremely dangerous and are the most common cause for falls in the winter season.
For people driving in snow
Driving can be difficult in snow for everyone, but it is even difficult for disabled people as they find it hard to abandon the vehicle if it gets stuck. This is why it is very important to listen to weather warnings before going out.
If you drive an automatic, keep in mind that it might lose its grip in snow. So if you have to travel in heavy snow, make sure you go in a different car, with someone else as the driver. And in any case, take a flask filled with a hot drink, a blanket, some food, and proper medication- just in case.
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