5 Tips for Keeping Your Senior Safe this Winter
We’ve covered Home Safety for Seniors in the past, but along with the winter months comes new challenges for older adults. Thus today we’ll be going over 5 tips for keeping your senior safe this winter.
1. Fall Prevention.
Older adults often suffer from serious complications due to falls. These complications are actually a leading cause of death from injury in people over the age of 65. Icy, snowy sidewalks and roads were difficult enough to manage in my 20’s, much less for a senior. Even if you live in a warmer climate, be wary of leaves, especially if it rained recently. Falls from ice, snow, and wet conditions usually cause major injuries like hip fractures, head trauma, and even lacerations.
To prevent falls, ensure your older adult is wearing shoes that are warm, have good traction and non-slip soles. If they use a cane or walker, give them a look over and replace any rubber that may be worn. Lastly, don’t wear shoes from outside in the house. Walking around in the same shoes usually brings in snow, making it very slippery inside.
2. Keep Additional Supplies
Storms can easily lead to power outages, so be sure both you and your loved one has easy access to extra necessary supplies. Items such as flashlights, candles, extra blankets, nonperishable foods, etc.
But don’t stop at just your house! In winter months, I always keep an extra set of supplies in my car as well. In case of an accident, it’s extremely important to have an extra pair of clothes, flashlight, blankets, and a bit of food.
3. Keep Your Senior Warm
Colder months can cause frostbite, hypothermia, or even just a common cold that can turn fatal quick. So even if your older adult is just popping down to the store, be sure they’re bundled. It’s a good rule of thumb to always add one more extra layer. In especially colder areas, cover up all exposed skin.
4. Watch What You Eat
People tend to stay in more during the winter, so make sure your older adult is getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be found in foods like milk, grains, and seafood. But if you’re concerned they still may not be getting enough, talk to your doctor about adding supplements to their diet during winter.
5. Avoid the Winter Blues
Senior depression is a very serious matter year round but can become even more intense during colder months. It’s more difficult to get around, people are less willing to leave their homes, and it can leave anyone feeling isolated. I recommend taking some extra time to ensure your senior is attending social activities, visiting with friends, and engaging with others on a regular basis. When the weather is making transportation difficult, don’t underestimate the power of a simple phone call!
Do you have any tricks for surviving the winter? Let us know in a comment, and send this post to someone who may benefit!