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Fall Prevention
Top Winter Senior Safety Tips for 2020 | CT In-Home Assistance

Top Winter Senior Safety Tips for 2020 | CT In-Home Assistance

With Winter approaching, especially here on the East Coast, you want to make sure you’re prepared for a safe, healthy, and happy Winter season. Caring for the elderly looks different depending on the time of year and where you’re located. Here in Connecticut, we’re a state that experiences all four seasons to the fullest. The Summer months are warm and inviting while the Winter is the best time of year to cuddle up with your favorite book by the fireplace and stay warm while watching the snow fall outside your window.

Below you’ll find the most important elderly care tips for the Winter months. Senior safety is our top priority and while the Winter poses some challenges for seniors, it doesn’t mean that you can’t prepare in advance and increase your chances of success. Help for the elderly living at home can come in many different forms, we’ll go over them below.

Prevent Falls in Seniors in the Winter

You might be wondering how we can prevent falls in seniors, especially when the ground is wet and icy. There are lots of options available that will help improve senior safety during the Winter time.

Proper Footwear

You always want to make sure you have shoes that are snug, but not too tight. You’ll especially want to make sure your shoes will improve your stability during the Winter months. Your shoes should give you extra traction when walking over slush and ice. You’ll know if your shoes are well equipped to handle more challenging terrain based on how smooth or bumpy the bottoms are. The more grooves a shoe has, the better it can withstand icy and wet ground.

You can take it a step further by also making sure your shoes are easy to get into and out of. Shoes that you can just slip into pose fewer risks since there aren’t shoelaces that can become untied while on a walk. Owning shoes with velcro straps is another option.

Additional Support with Ice and Snow Cleats and Hiking Poles

So, you want to know what the safest way to walk on ice is? Having the proper gear makes walking on ice safer and can help to prevent injuries in people of all ages. 

In addition to proper shoes, you can add additional support by purchasing ice and snow cleats, snowshoes, and hiking poles.

Ice and snow cleats are an additional accessory you can purchase that will give you extra support when walking in icy and wet conditions. They come in all sizes and you can even leave them on if you decide to go for a drive after taking a walk.

Hiking Poles are also great options to use as well. They’ll help provide additional stability that will also improve your balance overall. Combining snow clears which are worn over your snow boots with hiking poles will make walking over snow and ice much safer and more manageable.

Ask Your Personal Caregiver to Accompany You on Walks

Your personal caregiver is there to provide assistance when you need it most. That can mean preparing a meal, providing additional company, or accompanying you on a walk. Having that extra person to lean on won’t just help with stability, but it’ll also give you extra peace of mind. In case there’s an emergency, you know there’s someone there who will help provide you the care that you need. 

Invest in a Medical Alert System for Seniors

If you’re unable to take a walk with a loved one or personal caregiver, the next best thing would be to use a medical alert system. There are lots to choose from, but the ones that would provide the best assistance would be buttons that you wear on you at all times. This will give you additional peace of mind as you’re taking your morning stroll in the middle of Winter or on a warm sunny day. 

We like to recommend My Medical Alert. For more information about My Medical Alert please give us a call (855) 412-2273 and ask for Brian.

The consequences of falls in the elderly can be great, so protect yourself as much as you can with additional tools and resources that will help you have your best Winter yet!

Keep Warm

Wearing the right clothing to keep elderly warm is particularly important in the Winter months when you need your body to be stronger than ever. Cold weather affects the elderly in different ways, so in order to increase your chances of fighting off colds and infections, it’s best to stay warm and keep the temperature in the home at a comfortable level. There are lots of ways to keep the elderly warm during the Winter time.

Wear Layers

I like to start from the ground up when it comes to wearing layers and bundling up for the Winter. Starting with warm socks and following them with thermal leggings or tights (unisex). Wearing multiple long sleeved woolen shirts/sweaters will help keep you warm and dry. Don’t forget your wind/water resistant jacket that will help protect you from the elements even further. Don’t forget your hat, gloves, and scarf!

Keep Your Head, Hands, and Feet Warm

Be sure to remember your wool hat and scarf, as well as your water resistant gloves and socks. It gets cold out there and for Connecticut, January is actually the coldest month of the year. If you still can’t shake off that winter chill try hand warmers and heated clothing for elderly. It might take more time to get ready before leaving your home, but wearing the right clothes and shoes will keep you safe and comfortable this Winter.

Insulate Your House for Winter

This is easy to forget, but it’s incredibly important since you’ll spend the majority of your time in your home. No matter how big your fire in the fireplace is or how high you turn the thermostat up, if your home isn’t properly insulated all of that heat is escaping your home which will result in dropping temperatures when what you really need is heat! 

Some easy fixes would be to purchase a Window Insulator Kit or Waterproof Sealing Strips that will line the window, reducing drafts from coming in and heat going out. Some other ways you can insulate your home for the Winter would be to seal gaps around any AC units in the home. You can do this by purchasing Insulation Foam online or at your local hardware store.

Stock up on Foods That Will Nourish You

It’s cold outside and let’s be honest, going to the supermarket just isn’t as easy to do when temperatures begin dropping. Stocking up on foods that will get you through the Winter will help make the Winter more enjoyable and will reduce how often you need to visit the supermarket. 

Home care services for the elderly come in handy since having a personal caregiver allows them to go to the supermarket for you and help you stock up on the items that you need most. Be sure to purchase foods high in vitamins C, B, and D and these will all help you fight colds and infections more easily.

Make Sure You Have Enough Medicine in Case of a Blizzard

Review the medications you have and make sure you have sufficient doses in your home to last you through the Winter if needed. Consult with your doctor and raise any concerns you might have at the start of the Winter season. Your doctor and pharmacist will work to ensure you have the medications you’ll need, even if getting to the pharmacy becomes challenging or isn’t an option. Remember to stock up on essential vitamins too as they will help you stay healthy and strong all Winter long.

BONUS: Have Someone on Speed Dial to Shovel Snow

Don’t wait for a blizzard to strike. Have someone you know you trust and can rely on to shovel your car and driveway at the start of the season.

 

Conclusion

There are lots of things we can do to keep seniors safe this Winter. From wearing proper clothes to owning the right gear and even insulating the home to ensure it’s staying and keeping warm – These are just a few of the many ways we can protect the elderly this Winter season.

If you need additional help this Winter season, contact Connecticut In-Home Assistance. Our personal caregivers can give you the support you need from accompanying you on walks to running errands for you all year round. 
We’ve been serving Connecticut for over 20 years – Contact us today to learn more!