Snow days are one of our favorite times in childhood – a day to play in the snow and sip hot chocolate at home. They are still a great excuse to stay home with family, but it is also important to make the appropriate arrangements to stay prepared and safe for the change in weather conditions. For older adults who live alone, it is important that everything is ready before the chill sets in, especially if they need help with certain activities. It can be overwhelming if you have gotten a late start to the preparations so here is a list of easy-to-follow safety tips to get you started!
Preparing Your Home for Winter
Our houses are meant to be a safe haven for all weathers, especially when it is too cold to go outside. However, it should not be taken for granted that your home has been adequately equipped to keep you warm. This is especially so when any breakdowns or maintenance work would take more time and can easily cause greater discomfort during the winter months.
The most important thing to check first is that your heating systems are all well cleaned, ventilated, and are working properly. Other than ensuring that you have had the system serviced professionally recently, also make sure that you have alternative heating sources and the respective fuels needed. To compliment your heating systems, make sure to also install or check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Dressing for the Weather
For those days where you must leave the warmth of your home, make sure to dress accordingly. Before leaving the house, make sure to check the weather and temperature forecast for the entire time that you expect to be out. One common mistake is when people are out for the whole day but only dress for the afternoon temperatures. Temperatures can easily drop at night so make sure to have extra layers that you can remove or wear as needed.
If you are underdressed or have exposed extremities, it may be possible that you can become susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. It is important to look out for changes to your skin color and texture, as well as monitor your physical condition when out in the winter. If you are feeling confused, tired, or experience slowed breathing, it is best to head inside to a warm environment as soon as possible.
Staying Safe on the Road
Driving to pick up groceries is undeniably better than hiking up and down in the snow. However, road conditions may not be the best during winter. Whether it is due to icy roads or heavy snowfall, it might be best to stay off the roads as much as possible. Just like your home, it is also important to make sure that the different components of your car like the radiator, windshield wipers, antifreeze, tires, and heating systems are all working well.
If you must drive in bad weather, always make sure to have a charged mobile phone and a full tank of fuel before you set off. Another tip that is helpful for all seasons is to keep emergency supplies in your car. The items inside can vary from person to person but should at least contain a first aid kit, jumper cables, flashlight, and windshield scraper.
If you or your family members are worried about living alone without assistance this winter, one option to consider is applying for a placement at a senior living community. Here at Discovery Village At Deerwood, our dedicated team is here to provide round-the-clock assistance and our resort-style amenities are all located within a stone’s throw away. If this sounds good to you, contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you and your loved ones.