It’s one of life’s simple (and free!) daily pleasures, but for many, getting outside in older age can be a challenge. There are plenty of health benefits to getting outside regularly, including exercise, mental wellbeing and the opportunity to socialise.
Even if you or a loved one requires support with your mobility, there are a number of small things you can do to make venturing outside easier, especially if rain is forecast. In this blog, we discuss some of the best ways to feel more confident and comfortable when leaving the house:
- Invest in comfortable footwear –If you are prone to falls, going out in the rain when the ground is slippery can be especially daunting. Ensuring you have footwear that fits correctly, has sufficient grips and is comfortable can help to make walking easier
- Ensure you have good waterproofs and take spare clothes – This is especially important for getting outside in older age as getting wet or cold can exacerbate other health concerns. A waterproof jacket with a hood and an umbrella can help to ensure you stay warm and dry
- Check the forecast regularly – In an ideal world, not many people would venture out during a cold and rainy spell. Unfortunately, many of us have to do so in order to do shopping, meet companions or attend appointments. Checking the forecast regularly can help you to plan around the weather where possible. If you find walking difficult, it may be worth considering if you can catch a bus or get a lift / taxi for part of your journey
- Take Lifeline support devices or a mobile phone with you – If you need peace of mind when leaving the house, it’s worth letting a relative or loved one know your plans for the day. Lifeline support devices such as a GPS Tracker or Lifeline Pendant can help if you or a loved one is prone to falls or wandering. The devices can put you in touch with the Welbeing contact centre when triggered in the event of an emergency
- Research your route – If you have a train to catch or a bus to get, make sure you have a copy of the timetable handy and have planned your route in advance. If you suspect public transport may be cancelled or delayed due to rainy weather conditions, leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination as rushing can be dangerous. Making sure you know where petrol stations are located if you’re driving somewhere unfamiliar can also help you to relax en route to your destination
- Take precautions when driving – If you’re fortunate enough to drive, getting outside in older age can be easier. It’s worth ensuring your eyes are tested regularly if you take to the roads, and that you ensure you have any relevant documents with you, as well as a bag with items in for emergencies such as a blanket, torch and non-perishable food and drink items
- Ensure you have cash on you – If you suspect you may need to stop walking and take public transport, ensure you have sufficient money on you to cover your fares. Looking for a cash point in the rain can be difficult and add unnecessary stress to your trip. If you have a bus pass, have it to hand even if you plan to do your journey on foot
- Keep your dog on a lead on rainy walks – It isn’t just humans who benefit from getting outside so if you have a dog who still needs walking come rain or shine, remember not to venture anywhere that may be slippery or dangerous such as a beach with choppy waters or wet, muddy parks. Remember to keep your pet on a lead to avoid having to chase them in the rain and be sure to dry your dog well once back at home to avoid leaving wet patches that may cause falls in the home
- Don’t underestimate staying local – Getting outside in older age for health benefits doesn’t always have to mean venturing far. If you don’t need to venture outside for an appointment but would like to get some fresh air, your garden or a walk to a local convenience store can be sufficient enough to provide some exercise and enjoyment
If you would like to find out more about how Lifeline support could assist in making you or a loved one feel safer when venturing outside, please contact us here or phone our friendly team of experts on 01323 644422.