Temperatures are dropping and the leaves are falling off their branches. Holiday decorations are popping up in our communities and families are preparing for visitors and feasts. The days are also getting shorter, and weather-related dangers are becoming more prevalent, especially for seniors. Winter is coming, and if you’re caring for an aging loved one, it’s a great time to acquaint yourself with some tips that will help you ensure safety and security during this unique time of year.
Here are five can’t-miss cold-weather tips for senior safety!
#1 – Fight the Ice!
Slips and falls are all-too common among seniors, particularly during the icy winter months. Although youngsters have the ability to pop right back up to their feet after a wintry slip and fall, aging bodies aren’t nearly as resilient. In fact, winter slips and falls among the elderly can lead to serious injuries.
You can help your loved one avoid slipping by making sure they use footwear with good traction. You can also provide assistance by clearing walks and driveways after snowfalls and sprinkling salt on slippery surfaces. Don’t be afraid to literally lend a hand when walking outdoors, either!
#2 – Dressing in Layers for Warmth
According to the Centers for Disease Control, individuals over the age of 65 are much more likely to suffer hypothermia-related death, which is why it’s so important for you to ensure that your loved one dresses properly in the winter. Thick socks, a warm hat, gloves, a scarf and a heavy coat should be worn automatically whenever your senior ventures outdoors in the cold.
#3 – Emergency Preparations
Winter weather can cause power outages and other emergency conditions. That’s why you should make sure your senior is prepared with extra batteries, flashlights, blankets and food in case of these less than ideal conditions.
#4 – Watch for Depression
Shorter days and fewer opportunities to get out and about often means depression for seniors. To fight against this, make sure you check on your loved one regularly, and do what you can to set up a system of support so that others are spending quality time with them. Even brief visits can ward off the winter blues.
#5 – Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Heating the home during winter often involves the production of deadly gases that must be ventilated properly. Make sure you inspect your loved one’s home (or if you aren’t qualified, hire someone who is) and heating system before winter sets in. Also, be sure that if your senior uses a space heater, it is operated within a set of safe guidelines; space heaters can offer tremendous comfort, but they can be incredibly dangerous when not used properly!
More Help for Your Aging Loved One This Winter
Are you wondering how you can get help for your loved one this winter? Always Best Care is here for you! Our experienced caregivers can help your senior experience the winter safely and happily, and we’re just a phone call away. Contact us today at 1 (855) 470-CARE (2273) and learn how you can get a FREE consultation.