Luis couldn’t decide what to do for his elderly mother, Mary, who enjoyed walking around the neighborhood each day to the corner market. On one hand, it was an important social activity for her and provided her with much-needed physical activity. On the other hand, Luis knew that her balance and reflexes weren’t as sharp as they used to be and he worried that she might slip and fall. Worse, he feared that Mary might get hit by a car.
After several serious conversations about her safety, Luis and Mary came up with 5 safety tips that she agreed to follow on her daily walks.
- Time of Day and Weather Conditions
Mary agreed that she would only take her walks in the late morning after her home care assistant helped her get ready for the day. Late mornings were not too busy with traffic yet there were plenty of people out and about that she could see and who might be able to offer assistance if she needed it. Also, Mary promised not to take her walks when it was rainy, windy or otherwise poor conditions.
- Crossing at Traffic Lights and Crosswalks
Although it meant taking a slightly different route to the market, Mary saw the wisdom in crossing busy streets with the help of traffic lights and via crosswalks. Because her vision and hearing were not as good as they once were, she knew that her new route would provide her with the most safety features and give her a chance to stop and assess the situation in crossing the street with traffic.
- Using Physical Support
Mary didn’t like to take her walker with her on walks because she found it too cumbersome to carry a bag. She and Luis agreed that she would use a quad cane with a large base to help her navigate the route with some stability. This would leave Mary’s other hand free to access her new cross-body bag that would also help her stay more balanced.
- Take Plenty of Time
In every part of her walk, Mary decided that she would take her time so she wouldn’t make a mistake in judgement or overlook a hidden hazard. From being mindful of obstacles on the sidewalk to taking time to assess traffic at a light, Mary wanted to stay focused on her surroundings. Distractions are a big part of slip and fall accidents, as well as auto-pedestrian accidents, and Mary did not want to jeopardize her safety that way.
- Walk With a Companion
Whenever possible, Mary liked walking to the market with one of her neighboring friends. Because there is safety in numbers, she committed to making arrangements with friends or her home care assistant to accompany her as often as possible. While solo walks were still fine, Mary wanted to increase her efforts to walk with a companion.
Luis and Mary were both pleased with the new safety tips and practices that she would use for all future walks. They were able to feel better about Mary’s health and wellness efforts as she took a more active role in appreciating the hazards that existed for her as an elderly pedestrian.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional home care in Clark County, VA, please contact the caring staff at LivinRite Home Care. Call Us Today at (703) 634-9991. Serving Northern Virginia, The Valley, and Surrounding Communities
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