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Making Walks Safer for Seniors & Older Adults

By Melissa Hill, 8:00 am on

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for people of every age. For senior adults, a daily walk is a proven way to increase cardiovascular health while also improving one’s coordination and mood. Yet, it is important to make sure that senior adults stay safe while they are walking, whether they head out to a local park or just walk around their home. These four tips will help seniors and their loved ones maximize the benefits of walking while knowing their safety is assured.

  • Plan a Safe Route – A little pre-walk planning can go a long way toward avoiding obstacles that could lead to a fall. For those who will walk at home, clear a floor path or route around the yard. Seniors who venture into the surrounding neighborhood can plan their route using online maps that can show safety features such as sidewalks and access ramps.
  • Stay Hydrated – Many people underestimate the energy used while walking, and it is important for senior adults to stay hydrated. Family caregivers in Edmond should be sure their aging loved one drinks a glass of water before the walk, and carries additional water on longer forays, especially as the temperature begins to rise in Oklahoma. If a senior will be walking outdoors on a warm day, try to plan to go in the morning or late evening when there is some shade.
  • Implement a Buddy System – Even in the safest of neighborhoods, things can happen quickly on a walk that could lead to an emergency situation. For this reason, it is best for everyone to try and walk with a companion. Not only will this provide a source of support in the event of an injury or unsafe situation, walking with a friend can boost the emotional benefits of physical activity.
  • Stay Connected – Mobile phones have made it possible to ensure a senior’s safety while out walking. From quick access to emergency services to online capabilities to look up one’s route, there are many advantages to carrying a phone while out on a walk.

Finally, seniors should be encouraged to contact a companion or loved one after their walk to check in and let someone know they made it back safely. This way, every walk becomes an opportunity to reaffirm the safety of older adults.

For more information about senior safety, visit our website at www.homecareassistanceoklahoma.com or contact a Care Manager directly at 405-285-4191.