DENVER (CBS4) – Shoveling snow is always a challenge but could be especially difficult this weekend with up to three feet accumulating by Monday morning in some parts of the Denver metro area. Medical experts and those nonprofits who help older adults with shoveling agree it is best to tackle the snow early and often so you can remove inches and not feet.

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“Something we don’t really train for on an everyday basis so this is going to be something that is going to be a significant event for all of us,” said Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical Editor. “So I do think you need to have a plan before you get started.”

Dr. Hnida compared the expected snowfall for the weekend to an Olympic event for Colorado and a uniquely-tall order given that we have not had to shovel anywhere near this amount all winter. He says it is like a workout that requires a proper warm-up and cool down, wearing the right clothing, and keeping the right posture as well as breath control.

“Maybe doing this in segments so to speak, in other words, you don’t want to be stuck with going out and shoveling two feet of snow that’s very wet and very heavy in one time frame,” he said in an interview on CBSN Denver.

A Little Help is a nonprofit connecting neighbors to older adults in need with a variety of services including transportation, yard work, home health, handy work, grocery shopping, prescription pickups and snow shoveling. They also help with COVID-19 related requests like rides to vaccine appointments and regular neighborly checkups since some have been isolated during the pandemic. For snow shoveling, volunteers are paired with those in need during October so they can commit to helping for the entire snow season.

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“We do want our volunteers to get out there as soon as they’re safe and they’re able to make sure that our older adults can access the community again,” said Hilary Simmons, the executive director of A Little Help.

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Simmons has two homes she will shovel herself as a volunteer. She expects their organization will get calls for help this weekend from people not already signed up because of the storm. A Little Help is always looking for new volunteers, they hope to match more neighbors next week as people try to dig out of the snow.

“We just want to make sure that everyone is safe and to get that snow up as soon as we safely can,” she told CBS4 on Friday. “People are just happy that they are remembered and they’re not invisible.”

Volunteers range in age from multiple generations and students can also sign up if they are willing to shovel snow. As the need goes up for more seniors looking to get their sidewalks cleared, the nonprofit hopes to identify volunteers that are closer to homes needing this service. They always want to have help at a walking distance, which will be even more essential with the upcoming storm that could prevent travel by car.

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“I think it’s huge for the older adult, for the peace of mind, to know that somebody is going to be there and that it’s taken care of and they don’t need to worry,” she said. “We would love more volunteers, if you’re willing to shovel for your older adult neighbor, now’s the time, we would love your help.”

LINK: A Little Help

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