Winter’s cold and ice can be a dangerous time for the elderly and/or infirm. The American Red Cross says that, “Older adults are at greater risk for cold injuries because the body’s ability to maintain a constant internal temperature decreases with age.”
So this winter, keep your loved ones safe!
Here are 5 tips to keep your loved ones safe throughout the season:
1. Stock Up
Make sure that the pantry and medicine cabinet is well-stocked with any essential food and medications. Talk to the doctor and pharmacist to ensure that you keep enough prescription medication in stock to avoid trips outside in inclement weather.
2. Keep Warm
Be sure that everyone is dressed warmly and that their residence has heat. If using a portable heater, keep it at least three feet away from anything flammable like curtains or couches.
Invest in a carbon monoxide detector to ensure the air quality in the home remains healthy. If your carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm, call for help immediately. They are designed to alert you before you feel symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
3. Avoid Falls
Keep sidewalks and driveways clear of ice. Make sure that all have non-slip shoes that are appropriate for the weather conditions. Be cautious getting in and out of vehicles – and go slow.
Just because you can’t see the ice doesn’t mean it isn’t there! If a loved one uses a cane or walker, ensure the rubber tips are in good condition.
4. Emotional Support
Winter can be a time of isolation and depression. Visits to offer companionship can go a long way to lifting the spirits of the homebound.
5. Ask for Help
Shoveling can be especially dangerous for those who are out of shape, have poor balance or suffer from osteoporosis. Check with neighbors to see if they can help with check-ins, snow removal and grocery runs.