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Out and about in winter weather

The first snow fall of winter often prompts us to bring out our winter clothing, turn up the heating, and try to figure out exactly where we stored the snow shovel in the garage!


For Canadian seniors, however, the first snows may bring concerns about leaving the house, especially if the weather is changeable. With snow and ice everywhere, and driving more difficult, many seniors may feel concerned about venturing outside. So, we’ve put together this quick guide on how to keep yourself, or your senior loved ones, safe outside this winter.


Two seniors in the snow.



1. Get your driveway and paths cleared of snow


The first few yards from your home to the sidewalk or your driveway need to be as clear of snow as possible. Ask a neighbour or family to clear a pathway, or employ someone to help on a regular basis.



2. Non-slip footwear


Boots and shoes with anti-skid soles provide good grip on a variety of surfaces. Make sure your laces are always tied firmly, and your footwear is waterproof and comfortable.



3. Layer up


The best protection against cold are lots of layers. Invest in modern ultra-thin thermal clothing that keeps you snug without bulking you up too much, so you can still move easily. Always wear a warm hat, gloves that allow free movement in your hands, and a scarf to keep your chest warm.



4. Take your walking cane


If you use a cane or aid to walk, make sure you take it with you. Walking sticks should have a rubber end part to give you more grip on sidewalks.



5. Pick your transport


Make sure you know your public transport options to your destination, including bus routes and alternative bus stops, just in case. Waiting at bus stops can be a very cold experience, so time your journey to minimise waiting. Take some extra cash with you in case you decide the wait is too long, and you wish to take a taxi home.



6. Pick the best path


Only walk on sidewalks that are dry and clear of snow, to avid the risk of slipping. This might mean changing your shopping habits from smaller local stores to town centres or malls where you know sidewalks will be cleared. Or, consider talking a taxi that’ll drop you right outside your favourite store, and pick you up after your shopping is done.



7. Pack water and a snack


Cold weather saps your energy, so it’s important to stay energised and hydrated, especially if your transport is delayed for any reason. The same applies to medication; pack sufficient for a 24 hour period, just in case.



8. Tell someone you are going out


Inform somebody of your plans and what time you expect to be back, so they can call and check if required.



9. Charge your cell phone


Cell phones batteries hold less charge in the cold. Make sure you charge your phone fully before you leave the house. Keep it warm when outside by placing it in an insulated coat pocket rather than a cold handbag.



10. Enjoy the winter!


There’s so much to enjoy in a Canadian winter, with sports such as curling, skating and ice hockey, the arts including concerts, theatre and movies, to special events such as Christmas fairs and light displays. It’s also the Winter Olympics early next year in South Korea – go Canada!



Winter at The Manor Villages Canada


Winter is always a special time at our senior living communities in Calgary AB and London ON.

  • There’s a welcoming fire roaring up the chimney, with lots of indoor activities in our warm and spacious lounges.
  • Our Christmas decorations are always something special!
  • Our drivers take Residents where they need to go, including appointments, shopping trips, and special events.
  • Our chefs create well-balanced healthy menus that include seasonal, local produce.


Most of all, our Residents can relax, knowing that they won’t have to deal with the downside of a Canadian winter: our grounds team keep pathways clear of snow and ice, whilst our maintenance team ensure everything is working inside. So, no furnaces to keep going, no snow to shovel – and no large winter utility bills!


For more information on our retirement and senior residential communities, call us to arrange your personalised visit.