Snow Removal Safety Tips for Aging Parents

by Carmen Corbin on October 29, 2011

Whether your region measures its annual winter snowfall in inches or in feet, winter weather can be a challenge when it comes to safely maintaining access to your home.  Even though tossing down a few ice-melting granules on your sidewalk doesn’t take much effort, it can still be hazardous if you don’t wear proper footwear and fall on a slippery surface.  Although a person of any age can fall victim to a winter accident, our senior population needs to take extra care during the colder months.

Most of us with aging parents or loved ones have concerns about their physical health and activities.  If Mom or Dad is still living independently in their own home, they should be aware of any physical limitations that could leave them vulnerable to a snow removal related accident or injury.  Even if a person is in excellent health, there are many safety precautions that can be taken.

A Few Snow Removal Safety Tips…

If your parents don’t use a snow plowing service, then chances are they’re out there wrestling with the snow shovel after a couple of inches have fallen.  Safe snow shoveling tips include:

  1. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Dress in layers, put on warm socks, and wear winter boots with good tread to avoid slips.  Don’t forget the hat, scarf and gloves!
  2. Think small. Smaller scoops of snow equal less weight, which means less strain on muscles.  Or, choose a smaller shovel.
  3. Push instead of lift. Push the snow across the sidewalk or driveway instead of doing the “lift and toss” method.
  4. Shovel in intervals. During heavy snowstorms, don’t wait for the snow to build up to unmanageable depths before shoveling.  Shoveling occasionally as the snow comes down will result in moving lighter amounts, reducing the risk of overexertion.
  5. Know when to say when. If in doubt, don’t jeopardize your health.  Smaller snowfalls may be manageable, but hiring a snow plowing service for higher accumulations might be the best decision.

Even snow blowers can be hard to handle due to their weight.  If you have concerns about an aging parent or other senior in your life, consider arranging snow removal services for them during the winter season.  They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing their property will be safely maintained.

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