Winter Safety Checklist for Seniors: Prepare and Protect

Winter Safety Checklist for Seniors - AmeriBest Home Care

Every winter, we cross our fingers and wish for a magical winter wonderland.
We hope for a dreamy world of white covered treetops and fluffy snow blankets.

After all, what better suits the holidays?

But, with this beauty, comes a bit of danger.
This winter season, prepare and protect your elderly. Let your loved seniors enjoy the crisp, white holiday magic while also staying safe and warm.

How to keep seniors safe in the winter?

The key ingredient to keeping elderly parents safe in the winter is preparation.

It’s extremely important to be ready before the chilly weather hits. Once the snow arrives, it’ll be too late to get what you need. Especially, if you need to order some of the safety equipment online.

So, think smart and plan ahead.
It’s never too early to start prepping for winter safety.

How to prepare your senior for winter weather?

Don’t let the stress of prepping get to your head.
Here’s a winter safety checklist to help protect your senior during the rough winter weather!

  • Shovel – This one’s a no-brainer. You can’t expect your senior to trudge through the thick snow.
  • Car Ice Scraper – If you or your senior have a car, you’re definitely going to want one of these. Particularly, a scraper with an attached snow brush. Otherwise, you might find yourself having quite a hard time driving. After all, we wouldn’t want you to miss any doctor appointments because you couldn’t clean your car of snow and ice.
  • Salts – If you want your loved senior to be able to walk on the paths that you just shoveled, it’s crucial you put down melting salts. Slipping on ice is a huge danger to elderly parents.
  • Candles – Hopefully you won’t need this. But in the case of a snowstorm and/or blackout, you’re going to be glad you had extra candles around. A flashlight works too.
  • Throw Blankets – It’s so important that your senior stays warm. Seniors often get chilly faster than middle-aged adults might. And, with chills can come all sorts of illness. Make sure your senior is feeling warm and toasty inside, no matter how cold it gets outside.
  • Medication Refills – It’s extremely scary when you’re snowed in for a day or two and your senior runs out of his or her medication. Don’t let that happen. If you know a storm is on the horizon, make sure your senior has plenty of pills and vitamins to last through a snowstorm. Put in the orders for refills right away if any are running low.
  • Things That Make Your Senior Happy – Unfortunately, winter is often the time that seasonal depression hits the hardest. Yes, the world is beautiful when covered in snow, but it’s also darker. And, if your senior is stuck at home, it can be a lonely time. Make sure your senior is happy and of high spirits by keeping some favorite things on hand. This could be favorite movies, favorite games, favorite foods. Anything that brings a smile to your senior no matter the circumstance.

4 Must-Read Winter Caregiving Tips

4 Must-Read Winter Caregiving Tips - AmeriBest Home Care

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.

An elderly grandmother with an adult granddaughter at home.

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!