Winter is a brutal time for all of us, but it can particularly dangerous for seniors. Slippery sidewalks and cold water can lead to a wide variety of injuries and illnesses. How can you be prepared? Here are a few helpful tips to keeping your loved ones safe this season.
Avoid Slipping on Ice
Falls are a common occurrence for seniors and the winter months can make it even easier to slip and fall. Older adults can face a number of complications due to a fall. So what can you do?
Make sure to wear shoes that provide good traction and have non-skid soles.
Double check your cane tip to make sure it is providing the support you need while you’re walking.
Remove your shoes when you step indoors. Snow and ice on the soles of your shoes can cause a slippery floor inside.
Dress for Warmth
The cold temperatures dip too low they can easily lead to hypothermia and frostbite. Keep the indoor temperatures at a comfortable level and dress in layers. When you’re going outside wear a warm coat, socks, hat, gloves, and a scarf. When the temperatures really drop, it’s important to cover all exposed skin.
Fighting Winter Depression
The winter can be isolating months for seniors. When it’s hard to get around, you may have less contact with their loved ones. Family members should strive to check in on seniors as often as possible. A short phone call can make a huge difference. It doesn’t need to be just family either. Create a system that allows neighbors and friends to get involved to help keep a close eye on the ones you love.
Check the Car
Before snow hits the ground, it’s always a good idea to get the car checked over. Driving in the slippery condition is hazardous for everyone. Check the oil, battery, tires, wipers, and engine to make sure everything is in tip-top shape for when you head out on the road. Update your AAA membership for when you run into an emergency and need some help.
Prepare for Power Outages
It’s happened before! Winter storms can cause outages that could last hours or even days. Especially with the cold temperatures and the risk for falling, it’s important to be prepared. Double check that you have easy access to a flashlight and a radio. Keep warm blankets close by and a stock of non-perishable items, just in case the outage lasts longer than expected. When the lights go out, put on several layers of clothing to keep warm. Stay moving to raise your core temperature and call family or friends for help if you need it!
Winter Safety Tips for Seniors