WINTER SAFETY TIPS
The Holidays are the busiest time of year for shopping, visiting and travel for most of us and it’s vitally important that seniors take extra care during the winter months to avoid accidents during the months that can be most inclement. Snow and ice shouldn’t limit mobility…but seniors have a harder time recovering from accidents so follow this helpful advice to stay safe and enjoy a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season!
- Wear appropriate non-skid footwear: When you venture outside, a good pair of boots in the snow can help to avoid unnecessary slips on snow and ice. If you use a cane or walker make sure the ends are properly covered with new tips.
- Stay indoors: Until you know the roads and walkways have been cleared.
- More than ½ of hypothermia cases reported to the CDC are in individuals 65+: It’s important that as we age we need to dress warmer… Extremities need to be cared for by wear warm socks, boots and gloves. Any exposed facial areas should be covered with a scarf.
- Weather can sometimes force seniors to stay inside during the winter months: This can sometimes lead to loneliness and isolation. Family members should make extra effort to visit seniors who might have these feelings throughout the winter. As a senior, don’t be afraid to ask for or accept help.
- Sing and Dance: Sometimes, the best cure for stress is music. Dance and sing your cares away. Whether you’re singing in the shower or having fun at a night of karaoke, singing and dancing can help take the blues away. Dancing gets you moving, which releases endorphins, and it’s also fun. Having fun is a natural stress reliever.
- Reaction time for seniors gets longer and driving can be treacherous in the winter: First prepare your vehicle by putting on snow tires if you have them — ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads. Also, make sure insurance is up-to-date in case of emergencies. If driving is necessary during the winter, take extra time to get to your destination.
- Using a space heater can present different issues with use during the winter months: Depending of course on what type is being used. People in independent living or assisted living circumstances should first check if the residency allows their use, but also have their heating units and thermostat checked for efficiency prior to the cold moving in. If your heating doesn’t seem to be working as it should notify maintenance asap.
- Staying safe and warm during the winter months is important for all: Extra care needs to be taken by seniors and their caregivers to assure safety during the winter months. Reaching out to friends and family to make extra effort not only for visits but also everyday help should be a focus when it is more difficult.
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