With falling temperatures and slippery walkways, winter can be a challenge for seniors, and it can take some extra effort for seniors to stay safe during the cold season. This is especially true of seniors with mobility issues and other health concerns. Vancouver home care providers offer these tips for a safer winter season.
Watch the Feet
Seniors have a greater chance of falling during winter due to weather conditions. Proper footwear is essential during the winter. If it is wet, snowy, or slippery outside, choose footwear featuring gripping tread for good traction. Boots or high top sneakers offer extra support for ankles as well.
Pay Attention to Temperature
Because circulatory system and metabolism functions can change with age, seniors are more vulnerable to hypothermia compared to younger adults. Your loved one should dress in layers when going out to stay warm, ideally wearing clothing made of natural fibers that breathe.
However, it’s not just when going out that seniors can be at risk of hypothermia. Many people keep the thermostat set low to save on utility bills during the winter. However, seniors shouldn’t set it any lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Space heaters should be newer models with modern safety features, like automatic shutoff, and placed carefully to reduce fire risk.
Plan for Safety
Make sure that indoor and outdoor railings are in place securely. Allow extra time to avoid having to hurry when going out. Walk slowly if the ground is wet or slippery. Try to keep enough household supplies and medication on hand so your loved one doesn’t have to go out in bad weather.
Seniors should try to avoid strenuous outdoor winter work, like shoveling. However, if such work is unavoidable, seniors should go slow, taking plenty of rest breaks. They should keep a mobile phone with pre-programmed emergency numbers on their person in case of falls or other emergencies.
Take your senior loved one’s safety a step further this winter with help from Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide medication reminders, offer mobility support, and provide around-the-clock safety monitoring, ensuring your senior loved one is safe regardless of the season. Learn more about our hourly, respite, and live-in care for elderly in Vancouver by calling and speaking with a friendly Case Manager today.