Winter Safety Tips for Seniors
by Alicia Lam Taracido
The end of the year has finally arrived, and it brings with it its partner, the cold snowy months of winter. Each year, the winter months, usually lasting between November and February see senior citizens facing health hurdles that often require hospitalization. From physical injuries to depression, winter brings with it more than just serene vistas and a deep desire to never leave the warmth of the comforter. One essential tip that senior citizens must pay attention to is the need to prepare well in advance for winter, get everything they will need for those months. Leaving shopping until the last minute is a bad idea, especially given that Christmas shopping makes it difficult for senior citizens to get what they need.
Unable to fight against the throngs of people searching for deals and discounts, senior citizens often find that they have no choice but to make do until the shops are quieter. And for someone who needs winter essentials like sweaters or thermal socks, this can be a setback in comfort. The sleet and icy roads, the cold weather and the general feeling of lethargy that pervades through winter months make it difficult for senior citizens to have a tranquil winter, unless, of course, they enter these months prepared. A retractable ice tip cane , for example, can ensure that you have a better grip while you are on the ice and reduce your chances of slipping and hurting yourself.
Essential tips for a peaceful winter
The first and most essential tip is to ensure that at least someone has your contact details in the event of an emergency. In the winter months, it is easier to become injured or fall sick owing to the changes in the weather. In the event where you feel you require help, having someone available to help you, either a family member or a trusted friend, can be a lifesaver. Also, ensure that you have the numbers for an ambulance service and the hospital nearest to your house on your phone. Your emergency contacts should be set to emergency dial on your phone should people not be able to access help and you find yourself not in a position to help.
The following list should also prepare you for what you need to know to be safe this winter:
- Losing balance on the ice: It is extremely easy to find yourself falling down on the slippery ice in winter. Not only do you have to be careful where you step, accidents become more likely in the form of falling down. While a younger person is more likely to recover from such an event within a short time period, older people are at a greater risk of breaking their bones and in general, getting badly hurt. Shoes featuring good traction and soles that are anti-skid can really help you. Investing in good canes, such as the retractable ice tip cane or the five prong ice grip cane can give you a stronger foothold on the ice. These canes are built to provide better control when you walk.
- Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning: Excessive deposits of smoke, whether from a fireplace or in your car can be fatal if left unchecked. Clean out your fire grate and even get your heating system checked before winter sets in.
- Dress comfortably: Turn to online shopping if you have to, but make sure you have all the thermals and warm clothes that you may need before the winter months properly set in. Wearing clothes that leave you feeling cold can lead to sickness and ill health. The content exposure to the cold weather is also bad for people suffering from arthritis or joint problems and can leave them in discomfort and pain. Investing in a tripod cane tip can also help in using crutches with manipulated tips in the home.
- Get your car serviced: Dangerous accidents can happen when a car that's not in peak condition is taken out in winter. A tire skidding could potentially be fatal for the passengers due to the sleet on the road. Ensure that you have taken your car to the service center and that it is working fine before winter arrives. It is also a good idea to keep a crutch like a 5 prong ice grip in the car for when you need to walk on the cold icy streets.
- Defeat winter blues: The cold winter months can also induce feelings of depression. The quiet surroundings, people all huddling in their homes and the cold weather can make you feel down. You should use social media platforms to regularly engage with your loved ones, and keep them updated on how you feel that day.
- Eat a balanced diet: The winter months often see people not eating as healthy as they do the rest of the year. Vitamin D, especially, is one nutrient that is often found to be deficient in humans. By creating a meal chart, you will make it easier to remember what you need to eat. At the same time, if you feel that you absolutely cannot go shopping because of the weather, consider online grocery shopping.
Winter storms can be devastating, so you must ensure that you have a ready support of food, water and other emergency supplies you may need in the event of a storm. A crutch, like a 5 prong ice grip cane can also make mobility more comfortable.
< 10 Maintenance Tips for Preparing Your Mobility Scooter for Winter
< With Winter Coming, What Does CWI Recommend for Mobility for the Elderly?
< 7 Winter Safety Tips for Seniors
< Back to Helpful Articles