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Staying safe when you’re out and about

Yellow painted words on the ground, which say bus stop

If you’re nervous about falling when you leave home, it can affect your confidence and make you not want to leave the house.  However, there are a few simple steps you can take, to feel happier and safer when you’re out and about.

Take your time

When you’re walking, make sure you take your time and don’t rush.  It can help to scan the immediate area for any trip hazards, such as uneven or cracked pavements.

Don’t worry if you think you’re slow and holding others up, they can always walk around you, and your safety is more important.

Raised doorways

Be careful of raised or lipped doorways, when entering or leaving shops, as they’re easy to miss and trip over.  Don’t forget to give your eyes time to adjust to darker conditions inside, especially if it’s a bright day outside.

Pavement changes

Be aware of any changes to the pavement or kerb, especially near pedestrian crossings, as they can often have subtle gradient differences.

Swap your shopping bags

Using conventional shopping bags can obscure your view of the pavement and where you’re walking, so why not consider swapping to a rucksack instead.  They’re great for carrying shopping and are better for your back.

Getting the bus

If you’re getting the bus, keep your bus pass or money handy, as it’ll save you rummaging around in your bag and rushing, which will mean you’re ready to safely board the bus when it arrives.

Don’t be afraid to ask the bus driver to wait until you’re seated, before they drive away, as it’s easy to lose your balance when the bus is moving.  Equally, don’t leave your seat to get off the bus, until it has come to a complete stop.

Walking aids

Don’t be embarrassed to use a walking aid, such as a walking stick, if it helps you feel more steady and confident.  If you’re using a walking stick, make sure it’s the right length for you (the top of the handle should be level with your wrist crease, when your arm is down by your side) and it has a new rubber end on the bottom.

If a walking stick isn’t quite meeting your needs, consider a walking or wheeled frame instead, which will give you even greater stability.