Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Protecting Your Senior From Freezing Winter Weather

Temperatures during the winter can dip and become dangerously low, which means that you’ll want to make sure your senior is protected from whipping winds and subzero wind-chill. In order to keep your elderly loved one safe during this time of year, elder care professionals advise keeping these issues in mind:


When it comes to care for elderly people, a focus on preventing hypothermia is a must. Studies show that each year, half of the Americans who die from hypothermia are at least 65 years old.1 Elderly individuals are especially vulnerable because they have less fat, slower circulation, and slower metabolisms. Make sure that your senior is properly dressed each and every time they set foot outside. This includes wearing a hat, scarf, and gloves too. It doesn’t matter how long they plan to be outside, proper coverage is a must. Keep in mind that hypothermia can set in inside the home too. To prevent this from happening, make sure that the thermostat inside your senior’s house is never set below 65 degrees. 

Falls due to snow and ice

The wintertime greatly increases an elderly individual’s risk of slipping and falling, note home care professionals. Ice can become hard to see, and may cause a senior to fall in their driveway or in a parking lot. Additionally, boots track in snow, which makes floors inside restaurants and doctors’ offices slick. Encourage your senior to wear rubber-soled shoes, and consider investing in a walker or cane for extra stability. 

Ensure that the driveway and walkways leading to your loved one’s home have been cleaned thoroughly. Do not allow them to handle this task on their own, as they can quickly become off balance and fall as they are trying to get rid of snow and ice. Regardless of how warm the day is supposed to be, snow and ice can linger, so attending to this task regularly is a must.

Space heaters

These devices can become essential during the coldest winter months; however, they must be used with care. Leaving a space heater on overnight or when leaving the house can quickly result in a fire. Make sure the heater is only used during short spurts. This will warm up the house without posing a safety risk. Keep the area around the heater clear of clothes, papers, trash, and other items that could quickly ignite.


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