Winter can be a dangerous time, especially for seniors. Ice, snow, frigid temperatures, and slippery surfaces are often responsible for a number of accidents and illnesses during the winter months. Writing for care.com, Andrea Lee offers these tips to help keep you and your family safe during the winter months.
- Be careful on the ice. Walking on ice is tricky and can lead to a fall. Often these falls cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures and head trauma. To avoid falling, wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and stay inside until the roads are clear. Replace a worn cane tip to making walking easier. Take off your shoes as soon as you return indoors to avoid creating slippery conditions inside.
- Dress warmly. Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, a condition where the body temperature dips too low. According to a 2014 report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , older people are more likely than younger people to succumb to cold temperatures. As a result, keep your thermostat on a reasonably warm temperature and dress in layers. If you must venture outdoors, wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs. One final word of caution: Your body temperature should never dip below 95 degrees. If it does, seek medical assistance immediately.
- Fight Wintertime Depression. Because winter can be a difficult and dangerous time to get around, many seniors lose contact with others during cold months. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can occur. To avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible. Even a short, daily phone call can make a big difference. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends.
Your Lakewood at Home membership gives you access to your personal care coordinator any time you need assistance. Don’t hesitate to reach out!