4 Winter Safety Tips
Caregiver in Millstone NJ
Fall has arrived, which means winter is just around the corner. During the winter months, cold temperatures, snow and ice can make life difficult for everyone, especially the elderly. The cold weather and slippery sidewalks can lead to a wide range of illnesses and injuries, especially for seniors. Here are a few senior care tips to help prevent some of the common winter dangers that the senior population may face.
Even with help from an elderly care provider, wintertime makes it extremely difficult for seniors to get around, which often results in them having less contact with friends and family during the cold months. This may lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. To help reduce the risk of wintertime depression in the elderly, family members should check on their senior loved ones as often as possible, even a brief phone call may make a big difference. If possible, talk with your loved ones neighbors and arrange for them to check on each other as often as possible. If it is possible, talk with their in-home care provider about spending more time each day with your loved one and encourage them to participate in activities daily with the senior.
Preparing for a Power Outage
Unfortunately, a winter storm can lead to a power outage, so it is important to make sure seniors and their senior caregiver have easy access to a battery-powered radio and flashlights. To reduce the risk of falls during a power outage, make sure hallways and walking paths thorough the home are clear from clutter. There should also be enough water for the senior and the elderly caregiver to last them at least 3 days. If the power goes out, the house will lose heat, so stockpile warm blankets, warm clothing and hats. Make sure the senior caregiver has a family member’s phone number in case of an emergency. It is beneficial to have extra activities on hand to help keep seniors busy and moving around, which will help to raise their body temperature.
Reduce the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be extremely dangerous, even life-threatening. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, so a leak often goes undetected until it is too late. If your elderly loved one uses a fireplace or gas heater, it is extremely important to install a carbon monoxide detector in their home and to check the batteries regularly. Ask their senior care provider to notify you immediately if the batteries need changed or if the carbon monoxide detector needs to be replaced.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Elderly people who spend a great deal of time indoors may eat less as well as may eat a smaller variety of healthy foods. Along with the lack of sunlight and eating small, unhealthy meals, nutritional deficits may result, especially a vitamin D deficiency. In-home care providers should encourage seniors to consume foods that are enriched with Vitamin D, such as grains, milk and tuna or salmon. One way to ensure seniors are eating healthy and to keep them busy is to encourage senior caregivers to get the senior involved with the meal preparations.
Extreme cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and/or hypothermia, which is a condition that occurs when the body temperature drops too low. It is important to ensure the temperatures inside a seniors home does not get to low. If necessary, encourage them to wear warm socks and keep a blanket handy while indoors. If they venture outdoors during extreme cold temperatures, make sure all exposed skin is covered; they have a heavy coat, gloves and a scarf, a warm hat, warm socks and winter boots. To prevent the risk of falls on snow covered walkways and driveways, make sure these areas are in good condition before the winter weather arrives.