Staying safe in winter weather

Preparations for clients receiving home care assistance

As winter weather becomes a daily event, all of us should take extra precautions to remain safe during snow, ice, low temperatures, and wind. Winter weather can make walking or driving less safe so that household tasks like taking out the trash become a challenge. Clients who are receiving home care assistance have the additional resource of an in-home caregiver to help them navigate winter challenges. Following these tips can help all family members stay prepared, and help keep aging loved ones safe this winter season.

  1. Have a plan to mediate snow and ice. Many families contract with professional snow removers can be enlisted. Salt or other deicing substances should be used on any outdoor pathways that are used regularly, such as the pathway to get to the mailbox or to take out the trash.
  2. 2Stay aware of weather conditions. Even if there is no snow or ice falling, low temperatures also present dangers to senior citizens. It’s important to be dressed appropriately during low temperatures anytime you leave the house. You and your aging loved one should plan ahead to be sure they have adequate winter weather gear, including a coat that is heavy enough to deal with the climate.
  3. 3.       Monitor the weather and make decisions about when it would be best to leave the house. Take advantage of clear days to enjoy increased safety when you run errands or make social visits. Clients receiving home care assistance can talk with their caregiver about what schedule would be best for any transportation needs they have during the winter.
  4. 4.       Make an emergency plan. Clients with home care assistance may already have certain plans or precautions in place, such as a phone tree for who should be contacted in case of a medical emergency. Make a plan for inclement weather in case ice or snow makes it hard for your aging loved one to leave the house during the winter months.

Ice and snow can make walkways hazardous to senior citizens but are especially hazardous to anyone using mobility assistance devices. Seniors who use walkers, canes, and other devices should make an additional plan to ensure that they can still access fresh food, pharmacy refills, and other essentials when the weather gets bad. Home care assistance can help individuals with reduced mobility maintain access to essentials no matter the time of year.

Winter can be a difficult time of year for seniors, especially those who are isolated from others. Family members should put effort into remaining connected with aging loved ones through phone calls, video chatting, or in-person visits when possible. Proper preparation for the weather can alleviate most safety and transportation issues, and isolation can be a challenge for seniors as well.

If you need help keeping your aging loved one safe and healthy during the winter months, call your local Senior Home Care by Angels' office to be connected with one of our Angel companions.

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