Five Dangers Your Dad Faces on a Winter Walk and How to Prevent Them

A daily walk is a great way for your dad to get exercise. In the winter, it can also be dangerous. Make sure your dad is aware of the risks. Discuss ways for him to stay safe while taking a walk during the winter. Here are five things to talk about.

Caregiver in Lowell MI: Winter Walk Dangers

Caregiver in Lowell MI: Winter Walk Dangers

1. Ice and Packed Snow.

Even with good tread, it can be easy to slip on packed snow and ice. Some ice isn’t as easy to see. Black ice looks shiny and wet, but it’s a thin coating of ice that can be treacherous. Falling can lead to broken bones or head injuries. Have him use strap-on ice/snow cleats that provide more grip.

2. Less Visibility.

Visibility in a snow squall can be minimal. If he walks on the edge of the road, he must be visible. Bright, reflective clothing is essential. He should also wear an LED headlamp, flashing bicyclist lights, or flashlight with a strobe setting to make him more visible to anyone driving by.

3. Shorter Days.

Days are shorter. If your dad likes to walk after dinner, he may find that it gets dark quickly. It’s also darker in the morning. The shorter days can limit the amount of time he has to get outside and take a walk. If he cannot adjust when he goes for a walk, make sure he is visible to traffic in the waning daylight.

4. Wind Chills and Frost Bite.

In the winter, it can be one temperature, but the wind can make it feel colder than it is. Cheeks, chins, toes, ears, and fingers are areas where frostbite is most common. Your dad needs to be able to dress in layers and keep as much skin covered as he can. Keeping skin covered isn’t enough. He needs to limit his time outside when it’s cold.

5. Hypothermia.

If your dad’s core temperature drops too low, it’s hypothermia. If he’s dressed in layers and has protected himself with gloves, a hat, a scarf, and thick, waterproof winter boots, he’ll likely be okay.

He does need to watch how much time he spends outside. If he gets cold enough that he starts shivering, he should go back inside and warm up.

It Can Be Safer to Walk With Someone.

It may be best if your dad walks with someone else. Caregivers can help him inside the home with laundry and housework and join him outside for walks. He has someone to hold for support. He also gains companionship during his walks.

If you or someone you know needs help with caregiver services in Lowell, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.


About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.