This morning I was thinking about falls. Not the autumn/season kind, but the kind where you can land on the ground, badly hurt. As many of you know, I teach an aquatic class for Parkinson people and their care partners. It’s called Flamingos in Training because much of what we do is working on improving our balance. With the cold weather upon us and the potential for having to negotiate slippery surfaces I want to share some simple tips to help you stay on your feet this winter and out of the hospital.
- Wear shoes that fit properly on your feet. Check that laces are tied, and there are no loose ends for you to trip on. Soles made of non-slip rubber or neoprene, grooved for walking on snow or ice, are best.
- Beware dark patches on pavement that look wet. They can also be icy and slippery.
- Look for a path with the most traction. Sometimes it’s safer to walk on grass, dirt or snow than on the pavement.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets. If your hands are cold, wear gloves or mittens.
Walk Like a Penguin
I share this with my aquatic class every winter. When you’re walking on slippery surfaces it’s the one time you DON’T want to take BIG steps. We practice walking like a penguin in the pool. Sounds funny, I know, but the water holds us upright so it’s a safe way to practice.
Walk With Intent
I really like how the Parkinson Voice Project teaches people to speak with intent, or to put it another way . . .
Think about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.
So my version is to walk with intent . . .
Think about where you need to go and how you’re going to get there.
Speaking of Getting Out & About and Winter . . .
We have two cafes next week! Join in for some holiday fun by wearing your favorite holiday attire. At our Cafe Fairfax on Wednesday, our visitor will be Courtney Arroyo from the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management to talk about emergency preparedness. Courtney is in charge of outreach to people with disabilities and other vulnerable communities She has a presentation that integrates all county services related to safety and emergency preparedness, and will bring us some printed material to help us be prepared.
Hoping to see you out and about soon! Will we see you at our cafes in Fairfax and Alexandria next week?