Seniors Urged to Cease Snow Shoveling Efforts

More than one senior citizen has died as a result of shoveling snow as Winter Storm Jonas dumped nearly 30 inches of snow on the east coast of the United States recently.  A total of 27 deaths have been attributed to the storm which caused multiple car crashes and resulted in several cases of hypothermia and suspected heart attacks from shoveling.

The New York Police Department has issued a request that residents over the age of 60 or those with a medical condition stop shoveling and enlist the help of neighbours or volunteer shoveling programs.  Many churches or local government offices offer services to help senior residents remove snow.  Older homeowners can also try hiring a neighborhood teen to do the heavy lifting.

It is important to keep sidewalks and driveways clear of snow in case of an emergency.  Seniors who insist on shoveling should follows these tips:

  • Shovel often – don’t wait for snow to pile up
  • Take a break every 20-30 minutes
  • Dress properly in layers with waterproof boots
  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine or alcohol
  • Avoid nicotine while shoveling – can constrict blood vessels and increase heart rate
  • Use a smaller shovel for a lighter load
  • Let someone know when you are going out to shovel
  • Use the legs to lift rather than the back
  • Try pushing snow instead of lifting and throwing snow

For more information about staying safe during a winter storm visit the NYPD website at

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