winter-safety-heart-wheelchair

Winter Safety For Your Wheelchair, Walker, Cane, and YOU

Cold, wet, or icy weather can put a cramp on your otherwise mobile lifestyle. At Pacific Medical Supply Salem, we want to see your shining faces in our store, no matter the weather. Here are some ideas to keep you moving this winter. If you are interested in any of these products, call us and if we don’t currently carry them, we will order them for you.

For Your Wheelchair:

Wheelchairs don’t generally come with four-wheel drive, unfortunately. To make your wheelchair more all-terrain friendly, try a few add-ons:

*Tires: There are so many options for wheelchair tires available to you. Just like a car, having all-weather tires can make a difference in whether you can get where you want to go. From rain traction to snow traction, we can find you what you need.

*Umbrella Holder: Living in the Northwest, we get wet. It’s part of the price we pay for the beauty that surrounds us. However, simply because you are in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you have to forego an umbrella.

*Wheelchair Clothing: Waterproof ponchos large enough to cover you AND your chair are available to keep you warm and dry. Some have hoods to keep your head warm and dry as well. For tickling your fashion fancy, here is a great discovery we have made here at PacMed Salem:  IZ Adaptive. Take a look at their beautiful adaptive clothing offerings!

For Your Walker:

Walkers can present an interesting mobility challenge. Wheeled walkers are great in the warmer months, but can be slippery when wet. Also, what can you do in an icy situation? What about when it’s dark?

*Brakes:Walker brakes are available to help you stop when you need to stop. Call the store and ask us what we can order for you!

*Grips:Walkers, both wheeled and stable, can have grips added to them to help keep you comfortably holding on.

*Flashlight attachments: Sometimes the most dangerous hazard is the one you can’t see. A flashlight attachment for your walker (or wheelchair!) can be a life saver. Light up poorly lit areas and avoid hazards.

*Shoe Grips: When it’s icy or snowy, getting around with your walker can be dicey. Look into shoe add-ons with grips made specifically for walking in ice and snow. Take a look at these Hugo Snow Grabbers to see what I mean. If your feet are firmly on the ground, you can make certain that YOU are controlling your walker instead of your walker and the icy walkway controlling you.

For Your Cane:

Canes can be slippery, too. One slip, and you can lose your balance and fall. Here are some add-ons for your cane:

*Wrist Strap: A wrist strap will assure you that case you do take a tumble, your cane won’t go flying out of your reach.

*Lighted Tips: We think this is so cool. There IS such a thing as a lighted cane tip. See where you’re going and avoid hazards when it’s dark. Such a great idea!

*Ice Tips: You can also replace your regular cane tip with a retractable ice tip for canes. Make your cane an all-weather all terrain accessory for you!

Again, any of these accessories we can find and order for you. We want to be the first place you think of when you need something!

For YOU:

Most importantly, YOU! There are so many ways you can take care of yourself during these wet winter months to make them much more pleasant and make you much more mobile. Here are some ideas for things to carry with you:

*Hand and Foot Warmers: These accessories become especially important if you have reduced feeling in your extremities. Warming booties, glove or mitten inserts, and shoe inserts for your toes can help keep you warm and safe.

*Rock Salt: Keep a small bag of rock salt with you to help de-ice walk ways as you go. This not only helps you, but helps others as well.

*Skin Protection: Lips and cheeks are especially vulnerable to cold. Keep a small travel tube of a skin protectant, such as Aquaphor, on hand to keep your skin happy.

*Leg warmers: Let your 1980’s Flashdance flag fly. They are making a fashion come back, but beyond that, they help keep your legs nice and warm.

BONUS gift idea: A home health care package. For a neighbor, friend or family member who requires home health supplies, putting together a kit full of their favorites or things you know they need is a gift idea. Give us a call and we can put together the perfect gift for your loved one in need.