And Ways Family and Neighbors Can Help
Cold winter months are especially hard for senior citizens who live on their own. Whether you're a helpful neighbor or a local relative, here are some tips for keeping the seniors in your life safe during winter:
- Shovel and salt: Falls are great dangers for seniors no matter the time of year. Help shovel walkways, wheel chair ramps and driveways for seniors, and salt paths to prevent ice buildup. Check out more tips for preventing senior falls from our friends at Care.com, click here.
- Visit and call often: Winter weather can make it hard for seniors especially to get out about in their normal routine; this can leave them without inter-personal contact for days on end. Visit and call regularly to help combat seasonal depression and encourage your kids to as well!
- Check detectors: Heaters, lanterns and fireplaces are regular household items during the winter but serious fire and carbon monoxide risks too. Double check that your senior has proper, working smoke and CO detectors in their residence. *Note: Space heaters should be plugged into outlet, not an extension cord and kept at least 3 feet away from anything that could burn, including the wall.
- Dress Warmly: Without appropriate layers and access to heat, seniors can easily become hypothermic - where there body temperature dips below 95 degrees. Fill dressers and closets with warm coats, sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves that are easy to access.
- Stash back-up supplies: In case of power outages, make sure your senior has back-up flashlights, lanterns, and batteries as well as non-perishable foods and bottles of water.
- Offer rides: Keep your senior off potentially dangerous winter roads and offer to pick up (or take them to get) their prescriptions, groceries, etc while you're out running errands.