It’s hard to believe it, but winter is already here. While it may be dazzling to watch the frost form against your window, there are numerous dangers that come with the icy cold, and so it’s best to be prepared no matter what troubles you might face. Seniors are especially at risk of accidents and injury during this time because of the increased risks and dangers. If you want to learn a few things on how to keep your special senior safe during the winter season, then read on to find out a few safety tips and tricks for your loved ones.
Keep Walkways Free Of Ice
Ice is very common during Ottawa winters. If it’s not a combination of ice and snow, then it’s freezing rain that makes roads, driveways, walkways, and stairs treacherous. Nearly any surface can be made a walking hazard when moisture and cold come together. Seniors are at special risk of slipping and falling because of their often impaired balance. To keep your seniors safe, make sure their walkways and driveways are always free from ice. Always help your older neighbours with shoveling and deicing the laneway. In the event that ice is inevitable and they must go outside, we recommend that seniors wear boots equipped with extra grip and add an ice pick attachment to their cane (if applicable).
Seniors are particularly at risk of getting sick because of the cold and damp weather. It can be tricky to head over to the doctor’s during the winter season, especially if snow is heavy. Keep the body warm and ward off the risk of hypothermia by being prepared. Avoid going outside on the coldest days, if it’s necessary to go out then dress in layers with a warm jacket, toque, gloves, and winter boots with good grip. Make sure the thermostat is setup to an adequate temperature.
Winter can be a reason for most people to stay indoors and sometimes it can be hard to contact others during the season. This might not be a great idea as seniors tend to fall victim to wintertime loneliness when isolated for too long. Make sure to have time for a daily phone call to a few family and friends. Find ways to connect with others despite the cold weather. For example, hiring a caregiver is a great way to keep your loved one entertained and engaged socially with a kind and friendly companion.
During winter, there can be power outages, brownouts, and other utility interruptions, so it’s best to always stay prepared. Keep an emergency bag with supplies, batteries, flashlights, extra clothing, and whatever other important things you might think of and put it somewhere that’s easy to access. Invest in an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) for less than $100 to keep the phones—especially the cable-based phones, which requires a router to stay operational—working during a power outage. Remember, better safe than sorry.
For more tips and recommendations for senior safety this winter, give Qualicare Family Homecare a call at 613.366.2899.