During the winter months, senior home safety takes on a few different components. One of them is that when your elderly loved one lives in a northern climate, it’s going to be important to think about snow and ice removal. In most cases, elderly men and women tend to have someone plow their driveway out during the winter, and also clear the walkways and maybe even the deck. If your loved one has a service that takes care of their property during the winter, that doesn’t mean that everything is going to be fine at all times. If your loved one has wheelchair ramps, ice can form on them at any time. If the wheelchair ramps are wood or elevated, as opposed to solid concrete, then they will freeze more quickly than a solid concrete walkway.
Keep in mind that during the daytime, snow will melt from rooftops and awnings and other structures, creating pools of water along the surfaces beneath them. If the temperature drops below freezing in the evening or overnight, then this can cause hazardous ice spots along the entire ramp.
If your loved one has the ability to get out and throw salt onto the ice patches, then they should get into the habit of doing this on a daily basis. If they are unable to tend to this, then you may wish to speak to one of their neighbors and find out if they could walk over and check the wheelchair ramps, and add some salt as necessary. If they can, make sure that there is plenty of salt on hand and don’t expect the neighbor to supply that important component.
You should have your loved one contact the person who plows and shovels their walk and ask them to stop by once a week, at least, to chip away any thick ice that could form on the walkways and ramps.
It’s important to make sure that the wheelchair ramps are clear as much as possible. While your loved one may not need to go out much, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore this important senior home safety tip.
During the winter, the cold and snow can wear on you and if your loved one lives in a climate that sees a lot of snow, then they may become antsy to get out, or they may become weary of trying to keep things clear. Now is the time to double the focus on safety and get through the winter healthy and safe.