It's true that wise older adults prepare for their personal safety and well-being during the winter months. By keeping the following tips in mind, you and your loved ones will weather this season intact and healthy.
Dress for Safety
It’s a natural instinct to bundle kids up in the winter, but did you know that older adults need those extra layers too? As we age, blood circulation decreases, so adding long underwear (it’s not as bulky as it used to be), warm socks, scarves, mittens and hats help keep the chill at bay. Remember to keep your lips “dressed” as well with a protective lip balm to prevent dryness and cracking.
Proper footwear is also essential. Falls, fractures and serious internal injuries can result from icy conditions, so invest in insulated footwear with non-slip soles.
Get Equipped for the Cold
Dependable senior-assistive equipment is a must, especially during the winter. Canes, walkers and other devices should be checked to make sure that rubber tips and covers are in good condition. When coming indoors after a walk in wet conditions, remember to dry the bottoms of these devices as they can become slippery or leave puddles resulting in falls.
If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, have an extra battery or, at least, a backup cane or walker. A severe winter storm can make it impossible to get out to buy replace or repair items.
Snow Day Stock-Up
Don’t wait until there are three feet of snow on the ground to realize the cupboard is bare! Stock up on fresh water and dried or canned foods (make sure you have a working can opener). If you have pets, stock up on their favorites too.
Always have at least a seven-day supply of needed medications on hand. Also, find out if your pharmacy and grocery can deliver if the road conditions are dangerous. If you drive and must venture out, have your car stocked with basic emergency supplies and carry a fully charged cell phone.
If you require oxygen, have an emergency supply to last three days or more.
During the unpredictable colder months, it makes good sense to listen to weather reports regularly. Have a battery-powered radio and extra batteries on hand so you can stay informed, even during a storm.
Set up a “buddy system” with a neighbor who will check in on you in a storm situation. If you have a caregiver, have an emergency plan in place in case bad weather prevents your caregiver from getting to you.
With a solid safety plan in place, you can enjoy peace of mind in the upcoming chilly months. And if you are out and about, stop in for a visit at Casey’s Pond for a cup of hot tea and a tour! We’d be happy to show you how we support successful aging and independence in the lives of residents.
Enjoy the winter season!