We’re in the full thick of winter, now. The holidays are passed, and there’s still a couple months left of cold and snow in the outing. Older people can sometimes face greater challenges in the winter than younger ones do, and it’s vital to take the right actions to keep them safe and healthy throughout the season. Think about these important winter safety tips for seniors and help to ensure that your elder parent or loved one stays warm and safe this season and beyond.
Winter Safety Tips for Seniors
There are many hazards to deal with in the wintertime. From ice and slippery surfaces to cold temperatures, emotional troubles and power outages, it’s important to make sure all the risks are properly addressed. It can be helpful to keep a list of winter safety tips for seniors handy, so you don’t overlook something vital.
One of the biggest, most obvious dangers of winter is the risk of icy patches on roads, sidewalks, driveways and walkways. Slip and fall injuries can be far more serious for seniors than for younger people. They can result in issues like head trauma, broken hips, major cuts and gashes and more. In those over 65, these injuries can take a long time to heal, or be subject to major complications.
It’s especially important for elderly people to dress for the cold in winter months. They are far more prone to catching a chill than younger folks, including frostbite and hypothermia. The CDC shows that over half of all deaths from hypothermia are among those over 65 years old. Dress in layers and keep the thermostat warm in the house.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called seasonal depression or simply “the winter doldrums,” is a very real thing. Seniors are especially susceptible to winter depression, as they tend to have less contact with other people during the winter months. This results in feelings of isolation or loneliness. Check up on your senior parents as often as you can, and if possible, arrange for them to spend social time out of the house.
Keep the Car Running
Make sure you have an up-to-date roadside assistance program paid for and ready to go. Check the battery and engine, and make sure that their car is in great working order. Have it serviced and up to date. Ensure that if they need to get somewhere, they won’t have car problems.
Power outages can happen during any winter storm, or even due to very cold temperatures. Keep all devices charged, have flashlights handy, and plenty of warm blankets. Keep non-perishable foods handy. Know where all the local warming centers are, and make emergency plans should your senior loved one need to get to somewhere safe.
Have an Estate Plan in Place
Nobody wants to think about end of life plans, but with the many dangers of winter, it’s more important than ever to prepare for the unthinkable. If you would like advice on creating an estate plan as part of your winter safety tips for seniors, call Stano Law for help today.