Winter is a beautiful season, but the ice and snow can make it difficult for anyone—especially seniors. Although this season presents some unique challenges, it’s possible to be prepared to face them. Here are five tips to safely enjoy the season!
Avoid Slipping on Ice
Icy sidewalks and roads are a slipping hazard in the winter. Unfortunately, incidents of seniors falling are a common occurrence and tend to spike during the winter season. To avoid unwanted falls and injuries, ensure that your outdoor footwear has good traction and non-skid soles. If it snows, stay inside until the roads have been cleared and hire someone to clear your driveway and sidewalks if needed.
Dress for the Weather
Hypothermia is a serious condition that occurs when your body’s temperature drops to a dangerous level. Seniors are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so it’s important to dress properly for cold weather. When you go outside, make sure you’re wearing warm layers and thickly lined accessories to protect your extremities like a hat, gloves, scarf, and wool socks to keep you warm during any outdoor activities.
When you’re indoors, make sure that the temperature is not below 65° Fahrenheit. You can also dress in layers while you are indoors and use cozy slippers or blankets to keep warm!
When winter driving conditions are poor, safety precautions to protect yourself on the road are a necessity. Make sure to service your car and have the tires, wiper blades, and oil checked. Avoid driving if conditions are unfavorable and be sure to keep an emergency kit in your car with supplies, such as a blanket, first aid kit, booster cables, shovel, and a flashlight. Remember your cell phone in case you need to contact someone.
Fight Wintertime Depression
Travel during winter can be difficult, and as a result, many seniors have less contact than normal with others. Family and friends can help by frequently checking in, planning activities, or simply calling their loved ones. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with their neighbors throughout the week.
Eating nutritional, balanced meals go a long way to leading a healthy lifestyle throughout the winter season. Look for fun, seasonal recipes if you’re stuck in a rut for ideas. Other things that can help fight seasonal depression include regular exercise, talking with a loved one, or doing a hobby that you enjoy.
Prepare for Power Outages
In extreme cases, winter weather can cause power outages. It’s important to ensure that you have enough food, medication, and warm clothes to last throughout a power outage if needed. Make sure that you also have extra batteries and flashlights on hand, and keep your cell phone fully charged just in case!
If you or a loved one is in need of additional help during the winter season, give our compassionate team a call today at (304) 760-5290 or email Harper Gardner at DSM@BellaireAtDevonshire.com. We look forward to meeting you and showing our award-winning assisted living and memory care community.