Wheelchair User’s Guide to Surviving Winter

Are you a wheelchair user who lives in a part of the country where the temperatures can get below freezing? Well this article is for you. Below are some tips that can help you survive freezing temperatures while in your wheelchair.

Warm Boots
You might not have feeling in your lower limbs but you can be susceptible to frost bite to your lower body, especially your toes, it is not kept warm in freezing weather.

Layers
Even though it might be a bit awkward for using the bathroom, a layer of long moisture-wicking underwear will keep you from freezing outdoors. Don’t forget the two pairs of socks to go with the boots from #1. The boots should be a size bigger than usual so you can get them on and off easily.

Vitamin D
Most people don’t get enough vitamin D but getting the proper amount can help with improving your mood and even relieving pain. Find out from your doctor what the correct dosage is if you.

Charged Cellphone
Cold weather drains your cell phone batteries very quickly, so make sure your cell phone is fully charged before heading out into the cold. Try to keep it as warm as possible and only expose it to the cold if you really need to use it.

Prepare for emergencies
Get a small bag with emergency supplies and keep it attached to your chair or in your vehicle. Include things like medication, items for personal care and a first aid kit. If you drive, keep a full tank of gas in your vehicle and have an updated roadside emergency membership.

Heat Bags
A heat bag can be useful to warm you up when you get back in from the cold. Be sure not to overheat then though as they can catch a fire. Be careful if you are using electric blankets or heating pads to warm up as they can burn the skin.

Keep Moving
Get as much natural light when you are outdoors. Exercise will help you to keep warm when outside in cold weather. Keep moving as much as possible.

Take care of your skin
Winter weather is very harsh on your skin. Be sure to gently exfoliate and moisturize. Keep an eye on exposed skin especially in areas where your shirt or jacket might ride up.

 

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