The winter season can be pretty harsh, especially on aging family members. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that they are prepared to keep their health in check during this time of year. In this article, you will find helpful tips to help seniors stay safe during the winter to ensure your loved ones don’t fall victim to frostbite or other deadly illnesses brought on by the cold temperatures. By taking care of yourself and others around you, you can enjoy a healthy and happy winter!
Safety with Snow and Ice
Not only can heavy snow cover power lines and bring them down, but fallen branches and other debris can also turn sidewalks and streets into slippery hazards. If you know someone who lives alone in a high-rise apartment building, talk to him or her about how to navigate such conditions. Ensure your loved one has a shovel (or knows where to get one) should their roof or sidewalks need clearing. Don’t forget something warm—not just shoes, but long pants and coats—if they need to venture outside during an emergency.
Store Extra Supplies
Be sure you have a supply of extra sets of keys in a variety of places, just in case someone needs to get into your home in an emergency. In addition to standard locks and deadbolts, add backup alarm systems and lighting options for safety precautions. It’s also a good idea to have supplies on hand in case power outages occur. Here are some items you can have on hand with some planning: a battery-powered radio and flashlight, nonperishable food items that don’t require cooking or refrigeration, a thermos with a hot beverage, blankets, or space heaters if needed, medications that require no refrigeration.
Keep Fire hazards at Bay
Keep flammable objects, including furniture and bedding, at least three feet away from heat sources. Use electrical devices with caution. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home. Check them monthly, change batteries at least once a year, and clean dust from sensors with a dry cloth. Be sure fire extinguishers are within reach of your kitchen, garage, and bedrooms. Test them annually to make sure they still work properly. Use long-handled utensils when cooking near gas flames or electric elements to avoid accidentally bumping into anything that could ignite vapors or create sparks in an open flame area, and don’t leave cooking unattended.
Communication with Loved Ones
Communication is especially important to help aging family members who live alone or have limited mobility. Make sure that your parents know that they can always call you for a ride, a conversation, a visit—or whatever they need. Of course, if you don’t live nearby, make sure someone else knows how to reach them in case of an emergency.
Staying Safe with Help from Family
Snow and ice can make winter a difficult time of year. However, with proper precautions, golden-age adults can stay safe from slips and falls during the winter months. With help from your friends and family, Golden-age adults can ensure their safety as they brave harsh conditions each year.
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