Wintertime brings to mind holidays, snow-covered trees and the comfort of a warm fireplace. However, winter also can bring an extra layer of hazards for seniors in the form of cold temperatures, ice, snow and wind.
As a result, the risk of an accident for a senior is higher during this season. However, there are a number of safety precautions you can take to stay out of harm’s way. Follow these senior safety tips for winter to protect yourself.
It’s the number one winter rule: dress appropriately! Warm clothing prevents heat from escaping your body and protects you from the cold. Seniors without proper clothing are at higher risk for hypothermia and frostbite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Items that help keep you warm, like those listed below, are necessary safety items for seniors this winter, but it also goes beyond just the clothes you wear. Here are some of the best ways to stay warm during the winter:
Avoiding falls is vital for senior safety all year round but taking precautions during the icy, winter months is especially necessary. To avoid slips and falls, follow this list of senior safety tips for winter and handling ice.
When weather conditions are particularly bad, it’s best to avoid walking outside altogether if possible. If you must go out, try to at least wait until someone has cleared and salted your driveway. It’s also a good idea to have someone go with you, just in case you do happen to slip and fall.
Check the weather forecasts regularly so that you are not caught off-guard by any surprises. Be prepared for very cold weather, freezing precipitation and snowstorms. Being aware of the forecast predictions can help you plan your week, and identify which days are safest to venture out. Some ideas for helping seniors stay mindful of the weather include:
During any inclement weather, the safest place to be is home. If it is necessary to leave, be sure to alert your family members, friends or neighbors. You may even want to consider asking one of them to drive or escort you to your destination safely. Here are some tips for living comfortably at home this winter:
If leaving the house is necessary, make sure your car is prepped for the cold. Stock up with antifreeze, extra blankets and check that everything is working properly and no warning lights are on before driving away. Don’t drive too fast, leave extra space between you and the cars around you, and always be aware of the other drivers nearby.
Winter often comes accompanied by strong winds and snowstorms, which can lead to power outages. Food, water, flashlights and batteries are helpful safety items for seniors to have readily available. Here are some ways you can be prepared for an outage:
Although losing power may seem unlikely, it’s a major inconvenience when it does happen and can be quite dangerous for seniors. Whether you lose power for a few hours or several days, preparing ahead of time will provide you peace of mind.
At Independence Village, we understand the importance of senior safety, particularly during the winter months. Our staff works hard to provide a safe environment for seniors so they never have to worry. Find a community near you today.