Wintertime can present challenges for those with mobility disabilities, especially when it comes to snow and ice. Being prepared for the wintertime does not take a lot of time or expense, but it is something that you need to do before the weather sets in.
If You Use a Walking Stick, Walking Frame or Crutches
The rubber tips on the bottom of your walking stick, crutches, or walking frame can wear out over time. It is vital to change these rubber tips with new ones that have better tread on the bottom for traction. Some rubber tips are also equipped with spikes for traction in the ice. A word of caution: these spikes make walking with these devices a little . You will have to change them every time that you enter a building or you risk ruining the floor.
Try to walk near a wall, railing, or have a companion with you when venturing out in the snow. Make sure that you have your mobile with you so you can call emergency services if you fall.
If You Use a Mobility Scooter or Wheelchair
Lightweight wheelchairs and mobility scooters may find it challenging to get through the snow and ice. The lighter weight and smaller tires make it difficult to gain traction in the snow and ice. If you use a lightweight mobility scooter, it may be beneficial to switch over to a wheelchair and have someone push you in the snow and ice for safety reasons.
If you have a heavy-duty scooter or wheelchair, you should be able to maneuver through snow and ice a little better. These mobility devices are generally good to move in up to 15 centimeters of snow. Make sure to check the weather before venturing out on your own and always have your mobile handy.
Driving i the Snow and Ice with a Disability
Driving in snow and ice is difficult for everyone. For those with disabilities, however, there is an additional risk. If the car breaks down or becomes stuck in the snow or ice, it is much harder to leave the vehicle and seek help.
If you are going to travel in the snow, make sure that you have some extra blankets available in the event of an emergency. Always tell someone where you are going and when you should be expected. And, of course, have your mobile fully charged and with you before leaving.