As the temperatures drop, the elderly are more at risk for health issues caused by or triggered by the cold. If you have elderly loved ones, friends, or neighbors, it’s important to check in on them throughout the winter, and especially after severe winter weather. Otherwise, these individuals run the risk of contracting an illness due to the cold or accidentally injuring themselves. Take these steps to protect the elderly during the colder months of the year:
Older individuals that have arthritis, circulatory problems, or diminished cognitive function may have difficulty staying warm enough through the winter. Seniors are also at a greater risk of hypothermia because of lower metabolic rates and poor circulation. Elderly individuals may be on a fixed income, leading to difficulty keeping their homes at an appropriate temperature. If you notice that a loved one is struggling to stay warm, consider helping them find heating-assistance programs or weatherizing their home. Suggest supplemental methods of heating, like electric space heaters. Large cities often run warming shelters when temperatures drop below freezing as well.
With it being winter, the weather isn’t always the best, so just be aware of the risks and dangers of slips and falls for older adults in order to keep them safe. After a snow or ice storm, it’s important to make sure that their walkways and stairs are cleared and that they have a safe pathway to get in and out of their home without falling. Slips and falls can cause broken bones for elderly adults and may even lead to permanent disability, so it’s important to prevent them during winter weather if at all possible.
Limit Snow Removal Risks
Shoveling snow is quite physically demanding and can lead to serious issues such as heart attacks. This is especially true if the individual doing the work is elderly or already has a weak heart. You can assist your loved one by making sure that the snow around their home is removed for them, either by doing it yourself or hiring a local company to handle the task for you. This will help make sure that everyone is safe through the winter months and limit the risk of severe health issues.
Snow, colder temperatures, and ice can all be dangerous for the elderly throughout the winter months. It’s important to be sure that your elderly friends and family members are safe in and around your home, especially if you live in a cold climate. Do your best to limit health risks caused by snow removal, limit slips and falls, and help them stay as warm as possible.