Winter in Connecticut can create hazards that seniors do not have to face at other times of the year. Cold weather, snow, and ice put people at a higher risk for injuries. Follow these winter safety tips to ensure that you stay comfortable and healthy all season long.
- Avoid slipping on ice
Ice and snow on roads and sidewalks is easy to slip on. Oftentimes, falls cause major injures such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma, and major lacerations. If you can, stay inside till roads clear. Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles when going outside. Remove shoes after coming indoors so the snow and ice attached does not cause slippery indoor conditions. It is a good idea to have an emergency medical alert system, such as Lifeline.
Dress for warmth
Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, so don’t let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. If you have to go outside, wear warm socks, a coat, hat, gloves, and use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.
Fight winter time depression
Because of the cold weather there is usually less contact with others during cold months, this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. To help avoid these issues, try to stay in contact with friends and family via phone, email, or even letter writing. Often seniors can sign up for a check in system with their local senior center or town.
Check your car
Driving in the winter can be hazardous for anybody but especially for seniors who may not drive that often, or whose reflexes aren’t as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before winter comes, checking oil, tires, battery, and wipers. It is also good to have a road side emergency membership such as AAA.
Prepare for power outages
Winter storms can often lead to power outages. Make sure you have access to flashlights, a battery powered radio, and extra batteries for both. If you have a cell phone, make sure it is charged. Have non-perish foods that can be eaten cold, such as canned tuna on hand. If the power does go out, make sure to stay warm by wearing extra layers and moving frequently.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
Using a fireplace, gas heater, and lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. A carbon monoxide detector can alert you of this odorless, deadly gas. If you already have one, make sure the batteries are fresh and check on your smoke detectors batteries too! Inquire with your local fire department to see if they can provide assistance in acquiring or installing smoke detectors.
Ask for help
The most important tip to keep in mind is, don’t be afraid to reach out for help! If your property needs to be cleared of snow or ice, ask a family member or neighbor for help, or hire a professional. Arrange rides to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store. Many communities provide senior shuttles; contact your local senior center or town.
Consider using a homecare agency
Hiring someone from a reputable agency can help provide companionship, transportation, grocery shopping, personal care, and much more!
If the temperature outside is frightful, expert at-home senior service can be quite delightful. CT In-Home Assistance LLC offers in-home services perfect for people who need extra help during the winter. Call us at 855-412-2273 to discover how we can make this season safer for you and your loved ones.