Tidy up our foot­paths

Waihi Leader - - News - By A FRIEND’S PLACE So­cial group for older peo­ple

A Friend’s Place (So­cial Groups for Older Peo­ple) in Waihi Beach is con­cerned about the con­di­tion of our foot­paths and walk­ways.

We all know that trip­ping over and hav­ing a fall can be life­style chang­ing, es­pe­cially for older peo­ple. As we get older in­juries can be se­ri­ous, and the heal­ing process takes longer. Breaks, sprains, strains and skin tears are com­mon fall in­juries, and of­ten mean that we are un­able to con­tinue with daily rou­tines and ex­er­cise such as walk­ing, fish­ing, ten­nis, cy­cling, golf and swim­ming. We can lose strength and mus­cle con­di­tion very quickly, not to men­tion en­thu­si­asm and mo­ti­va­tion.

If you are us­ing a walker or mo­bil­ity scooter to get around the vil­lage you will have no­ticed some of the un­even and an­gled foot­paths. There are cracks, gaps, un­usual start­ing and stop­ping points, and bumps where ve­hi­cles ac­cess the drive­ways. Some­times we are shar­ing these paths with un­ex­pected trav­ellers on bi­cy­cles and skate­boards.

Here are some of the com­ments from el­derly res­i­dents:

■ “I was walk­ing along the pave­ment and next minute some per­son comes up be­hind me on a bi­cy­cle and scares the liv­ing day­lights out of me. Why don’t they use bells any­more? Why are they not cy­cling on the road? It is not easy to ma­noeu­vre these walker ma­chines in these sit­u­a­tions.”

■ “Some­times I am go­ing along with my walker across foot­paths that are un­even and cracked and my wheels get stuck and I al­most do a som­er­sault. Some­one is go­ing to get hurt.”

■ “Rid­ing along on my Mo­bil­ity Scooter on some of the weirdly an­gled paths can be dan­ger­ous. The scooter goes on a big lean and I have to hang on tight.”

■ “It can be very tricky get­ting around cars that are parked on the edge of the road and pave­ment. Why don’t peo­ple just park in the cor­rect spa­ces?”

The other is­sue fac­ing all of us, young and old, who en­joy walk­ing around the vil­lage is the speed and vol­ume of traf­fic pass­ing through. Of­ten cars are speed­ing, trav­el­ling at 80km in the 50km zones. This is par­tic­u­larly no­tice­able on

Beach Road com­ing in from

Waihi, and at

Emer­ton

Road where peo­ple are head­ing out to­wards

Katikati.

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