As you become older, changes in your body might make it more difficult to notice when you’re feeling cold. Before an elderly adult realizes what’s going on, a mild cold might evolve into a risky situation. Hypothermia is the medical term for this dangerous condition. Apart from avoiding chilly locations and keeping an eye on how cold it might be at a particular location, we have six winter safety tips for older adults to take note of.
If stepping outside, older folks should put on winter socks, a thick coat, a warm hat, gloves, and a shawl. In really extreme cold, they must conceal all bare areas and cover their mouth with a scarf. If you notice that your elderly loved one’s temperature has dropped significantly, get medical help right away.
Sand, de-icer, rock salt, or even cat litter can be used to cover pavement areas surrounding your home. If you must leave the home under severe circumstances, have a pouch in your pocket to scatter on ice spots as you come across them. More importantly, wear high-friction shoes with ice grippers to prevent unwanted falls.
The more slippery the road becomes, the further you should plan ahead. For curves, navigate your way around it slowly. If the road is wet from melted snow, double the braking distance and more accordingly for snow and ice. It’s also a good idea to switch to winter tires as all-season tires cannot compete with proper winter tires for grip in snow and slush.
Prepare for Power Cuts
Power failures can occur as a result of snowstorms. If the power is cut, ensure your elderly loved one has easy accessibility to torches and a battery-powered radio. Warm blankets should be kept on standby as well. In addition, prolonged power outages can cause foodstuffs in your fridge to turn sour, so have a stockpile of non-perishable goods ready. Purchase a backup generator to keep the power going even if the primary power supplies can’t be fixed anytime soon.
Be Careful with Space Heaters
There have been ongoing debates on whether it’s safe to use portable heaters. Do you know that heating equipment is the second-leading origin of house fires in the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)?
Ensure that your family member keeps space heaters away from combustible materials such as newspapers, furnishings, furniture pieces, or flammable materials. A big fire can readily occur if the ignition is initiated by an unattended radiator.
Have Emergency Medicine Stocked
Some conditions, such as thyroid issues and diabetes, make it difficult to keep warm, and some drugs may also have an effect. These include prescription medications as well as over-the-counter medications such as cold remedies.
Discuss with your doctor to see how they may impact you during winter. If harsh winter weather or temperature inversions are predicted, check your cupboard to ensure you have sufficient meds to last at least seven days. If not, restock them now.
Cold temperatures may be extremely dangerous for the elderly. Icy pavements, hypothermia, and other grave ailments can all be caused by freezing conditions. Check in on older relatives, acquaintances, or family frequently this wintertime and share the aforementioned winter safety precautions with them.