Rollator safety in autumn and winter
The winter - as beautiful as it is, with its contemplative time, the snow, which embeds everything in white cotton candy - as compensation it also sends us many inconveniences. Especially for rollator users, darkness, ice and snow bring many challenges. In the following we give you tips on how to continue to use your walker safely in the dark and cold season.
This is the ideal way to prepare for your walks in winter
Maintenance of the rollator
Make sure your walker is serviced. Many medical supply stores offer regular maintenance of your walker free of charge, so make sure your brakes work reliably.
The right clothing
Your clothes are the most important thing when you go outside in winter. Wear shoes that provide support. Winter shoes with a coarse tread and a higher shaft give better support and reduce the risk of slipping and falling.
Wear warm, light and contrasting clothing. People with dark clothing "blur" in the dark and are poorly recognized by drivers. Joachim Tabath, Senior Citizens Advisor at the Düsseldorf Police: "In the dark, a person with dark clothing is only seen up to a distance of about 25 metres. With high-contrast clothing that is about 40 m. But if reflectors are attached to your clothing and to the rollator, you can be seen up to 150 m away. Car drivers can then brake in time even at a speed of 100 km/h."
Put on warm gloves if you quickly get cold hands or your fingers freeze. You will need your hands to operate the walker brakes.
Take your mobile phone with you. It is best to inform a familiar person about your walk in advance. Even if we all hope that no emergency situation will occur, you will be well prepared.
Assess yourself: Do I trust myself today with the cold weather and icy roads?
You do not have to prove anything to yourself. Snowy or icy roads are a danger for every pedestrian. Ask yourself before every walk: How do you estimate your strength today? Do I dare to go for a walk on black ice or slush? Do I have the strength and coordination to prevent myself from falling?
Ask for help
If you feel unsure about moving alone in the cold, ask for help. Is there someone who would like to accompany you? Call relatives or acquaintances and ask if they would like to accompany you. Just take a winter walk together.
When in doubt, stay at home
Do you feel overwhelmed by the adverse winter conditions? This is totally ok. It is good that you can assess yourself so well. It is good that you have the courage to accept this situation, so that you do not risk your health. Ask relatives or friends if they can help you. Maybe someone can pick you up by car or bring you errands? Calling a taxi is also one way to make sure you can still get your errands done. Various supermarkets now also offer delivery services.
How to behave on the road
Don't get reckless
Only cross roads at well-lit places, traffic lights and zebra crossings. Take enough time to watch the traffic and to wait for the right moment to cross the road.
The Penguin Walk: How to avoid slipping
Penguins know exactly how to move safely on the ice in icy conditions. That is why the so-called "penguin walk" is recommended for icy conditions. Shift the body's centre of gravity forwards, over the leg that appears. The foot rests with the entire sole and points slightly outwards. The slightly forward leaning posture provides stability. The practical thing about it: By walking on the rollator you are automatically slightly bent forward - like a penguin :-)
The optimal winter equipment for your rollator
Winter also means that the nights are getting longer again. It will be light later and darker earlier. Ideally you should leave the house when it is light. Then it is not only a little warmer, but you will also be seen better by car drivers. Nevertheless, it can happen at any time that you get into the twilight. Use reflectors on the rollator and clothing. Reflectors are much more visible than light-coloured clothing. They should be placed as low as possible so that they are seen better. Bright and reflective elements on the rollator wheels or shoes are particularly good.
Light your way. Those with poor vision will benefit from a lamp that can illuminate your path. Attached to the rollator, it not only shows the way, but also ensures better visibility. Attach a lamp to your walker.
Autumn and winter are also particularly treacherous because of the rain and snow. Not only do the drops make your glasses wet, they also cool down more quickly if you do not attach an adequate rain cover to your walker. A rollator umbrella prevents the worst from happening. It is quick and easy to open and easy to fold up again.
Wheels with profile
Use rollator wheels with a coarser profile. Profiled rollator wheels give better grip on muddy or snowy paths and help prevent falls.
SALJOL's Carbon Rollator is optimized for safety
"The safety and comfort of our customers is very important to us", explains SALJOL managing director Thomas Appel. "That is why we always develop our aids with special attention to this."
The carbon rollator from SALJOL was equipped with five spoke reflectors on each wheel and four red reflectors on the back of the rollator. Additional reflective strips on the sides also ensure better visibility. A total of 31 reflection points are integrated into the 50s rollator design.
There is also an optional LED lamp that can be attached to the rollator bag. Special soft treaded tyres give the rollator grip on slippery surfaces, while at the same time absorbing shocks when driving over cobblestones.