Walking is fantastic exercise and there aren’t any special equipment requirements. As long as your elderly family member is able to walk and has supportive shoes, she can get started walking right away. Talk to her doctor first, and go over some of these safety tips, too.
“Right of Way” Isn’t Protection
Lots of people count on pedestrian right of way laws to save the day. But the problem with that is that drivers don’t always follow those right of way laws. It’s far better to be safe and sound than to be legally in the right if your senior is going up against a car as a pedestrian. Right of way laws don’t offer her nearly as much protection as paying attention to what’s going on does.
Pay Attention to All Traffic Signals
Along the same lines, traffic signals are a crucial part of her walking experience. Your elderly family member needs to pay attention to pedestrian signals, of course, but traffic signals are almost more important. Knowing what the cars are supposed to be doing, as well as what they’re actually doing, is vital in order for her to stay safe out on walks.
Look Both Ways, Twice
Your senior might have been the one to teach you to look both ways before crossing the street, but that is still a crucial rule. It’s also a good idea to beef it up a bit by doubling it. Looking both ways, twice, helps to ensure that your elderly family member is as aware as possible about what’s going on around her. If she’s in any doubt at all, looking again could be lifesaving.
She May not Be Able to Beat the “Don’t Walk” Warning
If your elderly family member thinks that the “don’t walk” signal is just a suggestion, she might be courting trouble. The signal that indicates she should stay on her side of the street is about keeping her safe, and it’s tied to traffic lights. That means even if there isn’t a car coming when she steps off the curb, that could change very quickly. It’s always better to wait, even if she doesn’t think cars might be coming around the corner or across the street.
Walking with a Partner Is a Good Idea
It’s always a good idea to have an exercise partner, but that’s even more important for your senior if she’s walking around her neighborhood. Walking with friends or neighbors could be a great idea, but if that’s not always feasible she may need another option. Senior care providers make excellent companions, and they can ensure your aging family member is safe as she walks, too.
Always make sure that your senior’s doctor clears any new exercise plans, including taking walks around the neighborhood.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Minneapolis, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.