207 – 1001 Cloverdale Ave Victoria, BC V8X 4C9, Canada

About Comfort Keepers

Comfort Keepers provides award-winning in-home care for seniors and other adults in need of assistance with daily activities. Our highly trained and dedicated caregivers can help your loved one stay in their home for as long as safely possible—a dream come true for many elders.

Areas Served

Uplifting In-Home Care Services for Seniors & Other Adults Right Where You Need It. Comfort Keepers Victoria, BC provides in home care services and senior care in the following cities in Victoria: Victoria

Safe Snow Removal Tips for Seniors

Victoria Senior Home Care  |  January 19, 2024

Safe Snow Removal Tips for Seniors | Comfort Keepers Victoria | BLOG POST

What Every Senior in Victoria, BC Needs to Know About Safe Snow Removal this Winter Season

Safe Snow Removal Tips for Seniors | When the snow falls and accumulates, emergency room professionals can be assured of one thing – they will likely see an increased incidence of injuries related to snow removal. The injuries run the gamut in severity and can range from strained backs and broken bones to serious cuts and even fatal heart attacks. According to the 2009 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 16,500 people in the U.S. were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained when trying to remove snow.

Many people, especially seniors, can underestimate the time, strength, and stamina it takes to shovel snow. But in many municipalities, it is a homeowner’s responsibility to clear snow from sidewalks on his or her property, so seniors often feel compelled to take steps to shovel the snow. Moreover, if an emergency vehicle needs to access a house and the snow is not cleared, it could cause a significant delay in necessary treatment. Experts recommend that seniors and others who may have physical challenges find help removing snow from sidewalks, driveways, and entryways.

Safe Snow Removal Tips for Seniors – FInding Qualified Individuals or Services to Shovel Snow:

  • Call the Better Business Bureau or visit its website for reviews of qualified professional snow removal services.
  • Ask neighbours if they can recommend a neighbourhood teen who will shovel snow for a fee.
  • Call a local church. Some churches have volunteers who help with snow removal for shut-ins.
  • Call the local city or town administration office. Local government offices may have special programs.

Seniors, and others with physical challenges, should never remove snow manually without a doctor’s approval. Reviewing safety tips before the first snowflake falls can prevent both minor and serious snow-removal injuries.

Safe Snow Removal Tips for Seniors Best Practices:

1. Snow shovelling: Even for those who exercise regularly, shovelling snow is rigorous, physical work. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, shovelling is considered an intense activity that raises one’s blood pressure and heart rate. Here are some tips for seniors – and others – for shovelling safely:

  • Dress appropriately. Wearing layers will allow for adjustment to the temperature outside. Be sure to dress warmly enough and cover the head, face, and hands when outside for prolonged periods.
  • Pick the right waterproof boots. Protect feet from the cold and keep them dry with waterproof boots. Non-skid boots help guard against falls on slick snow or hidden ice.
  • Pick a small shovel. Depending on how wet the snow is – a shovel full of snow can weigh up to 15 pounds! Selecting a smaller shovel means lighter loads of snow, which can help prevent injury to the body by creating less strain.
  • Stay hydrated. Water plays an important role when people exercise in the summer or winter. Having a water bottle handy just inside the garage and taking a few sips after every 15 minutes of shovelling snow will help guard against dehydration.
  • Shovel frequently. If a big storm is forecasted, go outside and shovel every time the snowfall is about 2 inches. This will help lessen the load and make snow shovelling more manageable.
  • Set a time limit. Shovelling snow is a hard job, so take a break after 20 – 30 minutes of shovelling and resume after having rested.
  • Lift with the legs, not the back. The legs have very strong muscle groups so make sure the legs carry the brunt of the lifting. Bend and straighten the knees when shoveling and make sure the back is not bending.
  • Push the snow. It’s easier to push the shovel full of snow instead of lifting and throwing the snow.
  • Separate the hands on the shovel. Creating space between your hands can increase leverage on the shovel to make it easier.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine before shovelling. Caffeine and nicotine act as stimulants to our bodies by increasing the heart rate and constricting blood vessels, which puts more strain on the heart.
  • Never shovel alone. Let a spouse or neighbour know you will be shovelling. That way, if a person does get into trouble someone will be looking out and can call for help quickly.

2. Roof Snow and Ice Removal: An ice dam can form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of a roofline. If it grows large enough, an ice dam prevents water from draining off the roof. If water backs up underneath the roof shingles, it’s likely to make its way inside. Here are tips to avoid ice dams:

  • Ensure areas around downspouts are clear so gutters drain properly.
  • Ensure the attic is well insulated. Before winter arrives, seal areas that can cause trouble such as vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures.
  • Install a water-repellent membrane underneath roof shingles.

3. Utilizing Snow Removal Equipment: Many people who live in climates that get a lot of snow rely on machines such as snow blowers to remove snow. While these machines are useful and efficient, they can be dangerous. Here are critical tips to remember for those who use snow removal equipment.

  • Test it before winter. Check all moving parts, and refer to the owner’s manual for ongoing maintenance requirements. Note all the safety features and use them 100% of the time.
  • Ensure the snowblower never runs unattended, even for a short time.
  • Beware of any motor or blade recoil that occurs when the machine is turned on or off.
  • NEVER reach inside a snowblower to clear a clog. Stop the machine and wait at least 5 seconds.
  • Be aware of the power cord so it does not present a tripping hazard.
  • Don’t rush, it will overload a snow removal machine.
  • Don’t use a snow blower on slopes, and be careful of tree roots and similar potential hazards.
  • Don’t run gasoline-powered equipment indoors to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide exposure.

At Comfort Keepers® Victoria we feel that home is the best place to be.

If you are concerned about the health and well-being of your aging loved ones we can help with 24-hour care, overnight care, respite care, senior care, companionship care, end-of-life care, post-surgery care, palliative care, personal care, senior living transition services, and much more! 

Comfort Keepers® Victoria provides in-home elderly care services

Comfort Keepers® trained caregivers help provide senior clients with the highest quality of life possible to keep them happy and healthy at home. Our Interactive Caregiving™ system provides care that addresses safety, nutrition, mind, body, and activities of daily living (ADLs).

Comfort Keepers® Victoria in-home caregivers can help with Interactive Caregiving™

Our philosophy is to elevate the human spirit and our caregivers will be there every step of the way to ensure your loved one has a better quality of life. Personal and empathetic care is care that starts in the heart, and it allows us to meet our client’s exact needs. Learn more about our unique service which offers respite care, overnight care, personal care, companionship care, palliative care, and end-of-life care by contacting the Comfort Keepers Victoria office.

Comfort Keepers® Victoria is proud to provide senior care and home care services to keep seniors safe in their homes.

If you are searching for home care near me, Comfort Keepers® Victoria can provide home care for the seniors of Victoria and the surrounding areas of Colwood, Saanich, Sidney, James Bay, and Oak Bay. Please call (778) 265-5999 and learn how your loved ones can receive compassionate, professional in-home care.

Comfort Keepers® Victoria has been accredited with Exemplary Standing with Accreditation Canada. Accreditation is an intensive process in which industry experts examine an organization’s processes, policies, and procedures against quality standards. To achieve accredited status, Comfort Keepers offices met or exceeded the rigorous standards for Home Care companies, as defined by Accreditation Canada. 


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