As the temperature begins to drop, senior citizens will experience a greater risk of accidents, injuries, and health problems related to the colder weather. It is extremely important that older adults, and the individuals who care for them, take precautions during this time of year to ensure their safety. By checking on your elderly loved ones frequently and employing some winter safety tips, you can ensure that the senior citizen in your life has a happy and enjoyable winter.
Winter Driving Safety
Senior citizens are involved in more auto accidents per mile that they drive than almost any other age group. Since winter driving is more hazardous in general, seniors should take extra precautions to stay safe:
- Avoid icy roads, bridges and overpasses
- Carry a cell phone, and always make sure that someone knows where they are going and when they will arrive
- Keep an emergency supply kit in their car, including blankets, extra clothes, a shovel, and a first aid kit
It is also important to ensure that your loved one’s vehicle is “winterized” before bad weather hits. Ensure that the tires have the proper amount of tread and air pressure, and inspect the windshield wipers and fluid levels to ensure that they will allow for good visibility if the weather becomes unfavorable.
During the snowy and icy conditions of the winter months, it becomes extremely easy to slip and fall. To reduce your elderly loved one’s risk of injury, shovel walkways and steps carefully. If you are not able shovel yourself, consider hiring someone. Seniors should wear sturdy boots or shoes with non-skid soles and only walk on sidewalks that have been cleared and appear dry. If your aging relative needs to use a cane, be sure to replace its rubber tip or invest in an attachment to help him or her stay upright when walking in slippery conditions.
Home heating also becomes a safety concern for senior citizens during the winter months. The use of certain fuels can produce carbon monoxide, so it is important that gas and wood stoves, certain appliances, and fireplaces are vented properly. Additionally, these appliances, especially those that are used to heat your home during the winter, can be fire hazards, so it is important to take the precautions needed to avoid these scenarios.
- Open a window when you use a kerosene stove
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Keep space heaters a minimum of three feet from any item that may catch fire
- Have a fire extinguisher handy in areas where you may use a kerosene heater, wood stove, or fireplace
- Never heat a house with a gas stove or any other appliance that was not made for the purpose of home heating
Many of the accidents and injuries that senior citizens experience during the winter months are entirely preventable. By taking the time to employ some simple tips, you can help to ensure that your elderly loved one has a safe winter.
If these tips don’t seem like enough to keep your loved ones safe, you may want to consider whether it’s time to find extra help. Home health services, like http://www.betterlivingseniorservices.com/, can come into the home and help monitor heating, fall risks, and other important life necessities while at the same time providing copmanionhsip!