Before reviewing these tips, please consider the following: If you don’t yet own a warm hat, toque, or head covering, it’s probably time to purchase one. Over half of your body heat can escape through the top of your head, placing unnecessary strain on individuals who nurse delicate health concerns. Here are some other important steps to keep you safe and accident-free, all winter long.

Be Prepared

Ensure your boots have plenty of tread. There are several shoe accessories which can add traction to your footwear – a visit to the mall will reveal these effective clip-on devices. Specialized canes are also available. Designed specifically for use in icy and snowy environments, they’re a great way to add some stability on slippery pavement and sidewalks.

Remember to dress with plenty of layers, and schedule your outings to accommodate the shorter days. If you’re light sensitive, a pair of sunglasses is an absolute must – snow is very reflective and can become quite blinding on clear days.

It’s very easy to become dehydrated in the winter. Consider carrying a small bottle of water for outings. Beware of overexertion – activities like snow shoveling should be done at a reasonable pace, all while keeping one’s own physical well-being in mind.

Ensure that carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are functioning properly. Stay aware of the condition of your furnace, and don’t hesitate to contact a professional if anything seems out of place.

Stay weather-savvy

Get in the habit of keeping up-to-date with weather forecasts. Be the first to know when an advisory alert is in effect. Plan to go shopping with friends or your caregiver, so you’ll have a companion in tow in case there’s an unpredictable shift in conditions. If your neighborhood’s streets have yet to be plowed, forgo a risky drive and call a relative or a taxicab.

Steering clear of slips and falls

Keeping a bag of road salt at home is never a bad idea – especially if your property contains walkways and patios which are not maintained by a caretaker during the winter. Remember to stay on the sidewalk when you’re out and about. The biggest risk of an accident lies in gutters, potholes, and other places where water gathers. Take your time and don’t allow yourself to be rushed.

Josh Byer is an author, blogger, and copywriter residing in Vancouver, BC. His article appears courtesy of,a complimentary retirement resource for Canadian seniors.

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