Winter has a unique charm and a cozy feel, but it can also bring challenges, especially for seniors. It's a time when we all should be extra cautious and make necessary preparations to stay warm and safe, especially as we head into the first cold days of the year and into the winter.
First and foremost, staying informed about the weather is crucial. Keep an eye on the
weather forecasts; they can help plan our days and for unpredictable conditions that
winter might throw our way. Being aware ahead of time when an elder relative or friend
would need help with their daily living activities in the face of a winter storm is an
important part of staying safe. It’s also important to make sure heating systems are
working efficiently. Before winter kicks in, it's a good idea to have a professional inspect
and maintain our furnaces. This not only keeps our homes warm but also reduces the risk
of being injured or even killed by toxic fumes and carbon monoxide.
Although the outside weather may be brutally cold, creating a cozy living space indoors can do wonders for both physical and mental health. Inspecting the home for drafts and making sure doors and windows are well-insulated helps in maintaining a warm and snug indoor environment but also saves on heating costs. Having essential supplies on hand is also a smart move. Stock the pantry with non-perishable food items, bottled water, and make doubly sure that there is an adequate supply of necessary medications.
Walking on slippery sidewalks and icy driveways can be especially risky for elders, for
whom falls are a drastically more serious concern.
Making sure walkways and outdoor walkable areas of the home or living arrangements are kept ice free and dry is very important, as is ensuring safety handrails are kept in good condition.
Although it may be tough to stay active with an outdoor routine, there are plenty of indoor activities that can keep up activity levels, such as yoga, aerobics, or even simple stretching. This is especially important for elders, who already are at risk of health complications from limited exercise.
For those elders living alone, arranging regular check-ins with a friend or family member is a reassuring practice. Staying in contact with friends and family on a regular basis, as well as having an emergency plan in place if something does happen is very important. In case of an emergency, it's invaluable to have someone aware of your situation. In addition, know where important documents are kept, and if you rely on medical equipment, have a backup power source or a transportation plan in place in case of power outages.
Preparing for winter is a way of taking care of yourself and your loved ones. By taking these steps, you can reduce the risks associated with the colder months and make your winter season safe and comfortable. It's never too early to start preparing for winter, so let's begin these steps well in advance of the first snowfall.
If you find yourself in need of Geriatric Care Management for yourself or an aging loved
one, you can call us at no cost to learn more about our services and how we can help.
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