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Winter Hazards - Is Your Home Ready?
Warmer temperatures have faded, and winter is here.  Snow, ice, and cold temperatures increase our risk for slip and falls and other injuries or illnesses.  Now is the time to ensure you and your loved ones are prepared for the challenges of wintertime.

Elderly caregivers are a great solution to help your family members stay safe during the winter months.

Check out our tips below to help prevent winter mishaps.

1. Avoiding Slip and Falls

Even a brief walk to the mailbox or recycling bin can be dangerous endeavor for our loved ones.

To avoid injuries such as ankle, wrist or hip fractures, be sure to do the following:
  • Always wear shoes or boots with good traction and non-skid soles
  • Examine and replace worn cane or walker “tips” to make walking easier and increase traction on slippery surfaces
  • Change shoes or boots once back inside to ensure snow and ice melt does not puddle in your home or stick to socks or feet
  • Always stay inside whenever hazardous weather exists- safety first!

 2.  Winter Wardrobe

Cold temperatures can often lead to frostbite and hypothermia, especially in our elders.

Whether inside or outside, be sure to dress warmly and follow these tips:
  • When indoors, keep your thermostat set at a moderate temperature (don’t let it get too cold) and dress in layers when possible. Adjust your clothing as needed to remain cozy and warm.
  • When heading outside, be sure to wear warm socks and shoes, a heavy coat, gloves, hat and a scarf.  Exposed skin is subject to frostbite, so cover as much as possible in the bitter cold.
  • Another tip? Use a scarf to cover your mouth and nose to protect your lungs from the frigid air.

3.  Seasonal Sadness

Winter weather makes it difficult for travel and social engagements.  Seniors often become isolated and lonely during the snowy season.

To help keep our loved ones engaged, try the following:
  • Utilize a caregiver for companionship and activities in their home or community.
  • Make daily phone calls, video calls, or email pictures and funny messages to keep your loved ones engaged and happy.  The smallest gesture makes a world of difference and gives them something to look forward to each day!
  • Be sure to eat a balanced diet that includes Vitamin D rich foods such as milk and other dairy products, tuna or salmon, orange juice, and grains.  

4.   Safety Check-Up

A home safety check-up is always recommended during the winter months.

Take time to check the following:
  • Smoke detectors - change batteries and test smoke detectors to be sure they are functioning properly
  • Fireplaces - annual maintenance is always recommended.  Whether gas or wood-burning, be sure to inspect for leaks, cracks or damage before using.  Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors and replace batteries
  • Power Outage Preparedness - winter storms often lead to power outages. Have a plan established to manage through the outage.  Have the following ready:
    • Flashlights (with new batteries)
    • Battery Powered Radio
    • Back Up Cell Phone Batteries or Charging Units
    • Warm Blankets
    • Water and non-perishable food items
  • Cars/Trucks - winter maintenance is a must for winter drivers. Be sure to check your vehicles headlights, taillights and brake lights, oil and washer fluid levels, consider using winter tires, check the battery, and install new wipers.  Whenever possible, do not drive in hazardous conditions and always ask for help when you need it!  
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