Winter weather puts seniors at greater risk for injury and illness. The consequences of winter-related challenges like power-outages, icy sidewalks, and increased time indoors can have an adverse effect on the senior population. However, with some planning and extra precautions, these challenges can be mitigated.
Here are 5 tips to keep seniors safe this winter:
1. Wear shoes with good traction
Slips and falls on slippery sidewalks and wet floors are much more common in the winter. When heading out, seniors should have a pair of warm shoes with non-skid soles and good traction. This will help stabilize and prevent falls.
2. Dress warm
Cold, damp weather can negatively affect a senior’s health, and dropping temperatures put seniors at risk for hypothermia and frostbite. Ensure you have a hat, mitts, scarf, and warm winter coat. In addition to being warm, look for items that are water-resistant and won’t affect mobility.
3. Stock up on medications
Winter weather and bad storms can keep people homebound and unable to get to a pharmacy. Ensure that you have at least a one-week supply of medication, personal hygiene items, and household items. In the event of a winter storm, it is one less thing you need to worry about.
4. Get a flu shot
The winter season is also the flu season. The flu can be quite dangerous, especially for older adults. This winter, we are navigating a pandemic in addition to the risk of flu, making things even more challenging! A flu shot can help prevent seniors from getting sick.
5. Get some sun
Seniors will be spending more time indoors, making them susceptible to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Keep blinds open during the day, and try to spend time near a window or looking outdoors. If the weather is nice enough and you are dressed warm, go for a short walk or sit outside on a bench. Getting as much natural light as possible will help combat feels of sadness and loneliness.
When the snow falls, ice forms, and temperatures drop, follow these 5 tips to stay safe this winter.