With strong winds, freezing temperatures, and slippery roads, winter can be a dangerous time for the elderly. In fact, winter tends to have more casualties and accidents for elderly than any other season.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should make your senior stay indoors all day to avoid the weather. Because truth be told, that can be just as unhealthy. Rather, you simply need to take the right precautions to keep your senior safe and sound!
Here are 4 easy tips for winter caregiving!
- Accompany your senior
The biggest danger for seniors walking in winter weather, is the chance of slipping and falling. Black ice, slush, and even bad rain, can make it hard for seniors to stay upright. Although falling may not sound like a big deal, it can be quite serious for elderly, because their bodies don’t hold up as well against sudden impact.
For this reason, it’s best to always accompany (or have someone else accompany) your senior when going outside during harsh winter weather. Hold your senior by the arm or elbow, so you can catch them if they start to miss a step- especially when crossing the street.
- Make sure the heating works
Double check the heating is optimally functioning in the house and car! If you know some rooms are a little draftier than others, you may want to get some additional space heaters. It’s highly recommended to do a quick maintenance check before the winter weather truly hits. This way, if there is any problem with the heating, you can have it fixed before it’s too late.
- Winter gear is a must
This is for both outdoors and indoors. Be sure your senior has a good, warm coat, hat, pair of gloves, and scarf. The last thing you need is for your senior to get sick with a cold, or worse. Also, be sure your senior has a pair of warm, sturdy snow boots. A good pair of boots will better prevent your senior from slipping.
Tip: Though it might sound like a lot to spend on just ‘clothes,’ if you spend the extra money on getting good winter gear, you’ll spend a lot less on medical bills later on.
Now, for indoors, winter gear comes in the form of blankets, socks and nonslip slippers. People often forget about winter gear for the indoors. But it is just as important, if not more important. Because chances are your senior spends more time indoors than outdoors. In which case, it’s crucial that your senior has the necessary clothes and whatnot to keep warm and toasty.
- A little shoveling goes a long way
Even if your senior isn’t going outside while it’s snowing, he or she might still want to get the mail or newspaper at the end of the driveway. In which case, walking down snowy steps or an icy driveway will be a big danger. Save yourself the worry, and always shovel around the house during bad weather. And, don’t forget to add some salt as an added layer of safety!