As much as many of us would love to hibernate during the winter, we all must face that snow, ice, and cold at some point. For seniors, wintertime in Ottawa can provide additional risks when it comes to getting around on slippery streets and even at home. Follow these quick tips to steer clear of common risks that can pose possible dangers to our senior loved ones during the winter.

Dress Appropriately

It’s important to dress appropriately for the weather. Seniors are more prone to experiencing hypothermia and frostbite. So it’s imperative to bundle up when heading out.

Use Extra Caution to Avoid Slipping

When that ice and snow comes bellowing down and develops that slick layer on sidewalks and streets, it’s crucial to wear the right footwear with enough grip to help reduce the risk of slips and falls. Having someone clear your footpath and apply salt is great way to reduce that risk as well. For added security, ice grips for shoes and canes can be purchased at most drug stores.

Prepare for Power Outages

During the winter, power outages can be common and serious. If a storm hits and knocks out the power in your home, it’s important to be prepared and have easy access to flashlights and necessities such as blankets, food,  water, and essential medication. Having an emergency contact in these situations is a good idea to keep on hand for any required assistance.

Avoid Wintertime Isolation

The combination of long, dark days and isolation during those harsh winter months can easily enhance a sense of loneliness and depression for many seniors. Spending long hours each day alone can wear on the mental and emotional health of a loved one. So having simple ways in which they can stay in contact and social such as phone calls, visits, meet ups with friends, or companionship services are all greats ways to keep seniors social and happy.

Equip Your Car

Winter driving can be challenging and dangerous. It’s a good idea to have your car prepared to handle any situation that may arise. That means ensuring that it is fully serviced and everything is in good working order. You should also have warm blankets and some basic snacks and water placed in the vehicle just in case you ever get stuck.

Considering senior health during the wintertime is more important than ever. Aside from acclimatizing to the harsh elements and slippery surfaces, winter is a time that can easily lead to isolation and depression. Follow these tips to help ensure that you or your loved one is well equipped and prepared to stay safe and sound during the winter.

Contact Qualicare Family Homecare at 613.366.2899 if you have any questions about winter safety, senior health, or in-home care.

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