The hustle and bustle of the holiday season and the new year festivities can leave us dashing through the snow in less than ideal temperatures. And along with the beauty of a perpetual winter wonderland, comes the risk of slips and falls for anyone who ventures out into inclement weather conditions.
It’s important to ensure the safest conditions possible for our senior loved ones to prevent some of the common dangers that occur this time of year.
Here are a few tips that Freedom Home Care came up with to help keep your family member accident-free during the winter months.
Check the Weather
Cold air can create a number of different hazards for older loved ones. Icy walkways and driveways are one of the biggest contributors to slips and fall in seniors. According to doctors, weather-related falls often lead to head trauma, hip and wrist fractures, and lacerations.
As we age, our bodies we tend to produce less heat as our metabolism slows down. Not only does this make it more difficult for many seniors to identify colder temperatures, but it also puts them at greater risk for hypothermia – when the body loses heat faster than it can make it.
It’s essential that your loved one keep abreast of weather conditions before going outside. Be prepared by putting on an extra layer of clothing and considering alternative routes for travel if necessary.
Eliminate the Risk of Falls
Ice that forms on sidewalks, porches, driveways, and walkways pose a special threat to older loved ones. This is especially true for seniors who have difficulty with balance or who suffer from muscle weakness and dizziness after taking medication. Reduce their risk of falling by putting salt or ice melter near doorways and anywhere your loved might be walking or driving outdoors.
It’s also important that they have the proper footwear to keep from slipping and falling. Shoes or boots with rubber tread are the most helpful. Some stores even sell ice gripper cane tips with spikes for use on the bottom of canes to help provide a secure grip while walking.
Elderly loved ones can also carry a plastic sandwich bag filled with lightweight kitty litter to toss out ahead of themselves as they walk on slippery surfaces.
Be Winter Storm Ready
More and more, severe weather conditions are leaving communities isolated and without power or electric. For seniors who live outside of a reputable home care agency, this is a particularly hazardous situation if they can’t communicate with family members in the event of an emergency. They might go for days without refrigeration or electricity.
Taking the necessary precautions before a storm time could be a life-saving gesture for your loved one. Get prepared by making sure your senior has the proper emergency supplies on hand!