How to Make Your Elderly Relatives Stay Safe this Winter
Here we are again in the midst of winter. Temperatures plummet, the days are shorter and darker, and no-one wants to go outside. It’s not always possible to keep an eye on your relatives, especially when the ground is icy and the snow begins to fall. Shopping still need to be done each week, and your elderly family members may have other commitments. Winter time can be one of the most perilous times of the year for the mature members of society. Here are a few things to watch out for and tips to keep everyone safe this winter.
Protecting Against Falls
Falls can be debilitating. Sometimes it breaks fragile bones. Other times can lead to much worse ailments further down the line. The risk of falls increases in the winter. Ice can cause slips onto the hard concrete floor or your relatives may need to reach cupboards to get an extra blanket for the colder nights. Knowing the best ways to protect against this can be tricky. The best solution is to read an infographic about ways to prevent falls and then show your ageing family members. If you find yourself in a situation where your elderly family member is having a difficult time getting around safely, I highly recommend you look into something like home healthcare in Tucson, or whichever place your family member currently lives.
Retirees may have difficulties paying the bills in order to have the heating on inside their house for long periods of time. This may increase the chances of developing hypothermia on the particularly cold nights or at the very least making them more vulnerable to illness. The elderly are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment, which gives a small amount of money to help pay for heating. Make sure they’re aware of this and make a claim. It’s also vital to provide blankets and encourage them to dress warmly.
The secret to getting through the winters is to keep healthy. A healthy body keeps you warm and an active immune system fights infections. Eating hearty meals during the cold is a must to maintain energy levels high and to build an extra layer of insulating fat. It’s also important to encourage them to eat lots of fruit and vegetables to provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy immune system. We all know how many bugs and viruses spread in the winter and the last thing you want is for someone to fall sick.
Discourage Driving in Poor Weather Conditions
And the final and most important point is to discourage driving in bad weather. It might be difficult to explain to someone who has driven for decades that they should be more careful, but it’s essential. Reactions times are slower as we get older, and our vision isn’t as good as when we were younger. Combine this with icy, foggy and hazardous conditions and it might very well be a recipe for disaster.
Keeping Your Elderly Relatives Safe this Winter
Winters can be harsh. And when they are, your elderly relatives may need a little more support than usual. Make sure you learn how to reduce the risk of falls inside and outside of the house, encourage healthy eating and explain the dangers of driving in poor weather. And don’t forget to claim Winter Fuel Payment and put the heating on when you need it.
3 thoughts on “How to Make Your Elderly Relatives Stay Safe this Winter”
Hi Heather – great roundup of winter safety ideas for seniors! My family has learned it is important to have a good, safe pair of winter boots for my grandmother. She has to go out for medical appointments and, of course, we do not want her to fall. They have traction to help her keep her footing and they are very supportive around her ankles. She likes the velcro closures on them too because she can adjust how tight they feel if her feet are swelling. Thought this might help someone out there – especially the ones in the snow belts. Thanks again for sharing this resource.
If you live in a climate with harsh winters, you should look into getting fitted with special snow tires with a deeper tread to keep the car from slipping.
Entrances and aisles with adequate head clearance and minimal projections into the path of travel result in easier navigation for people with lessened visual acuity or those who may be disoriented by clutter.