Hallee D.

Winter Is Coming — Seasonal Safety Tips for Seniors

As summer turns into fall, and fall turns into winter, there are a lot of wonderful things to look forward to. The smell of burning leaves, roasted marshmallows, and the holiday season are at the top of everyone’s list. Most seniors are excited for the holiday season because it means getting to spend more time with family and friends!

It’s never too early to start getting ready for colder temperatures. This is especially true for seniors, as winter weather can be even more dangerous than it is for younger generations. A single slip and fall could completely compromise your independence.

The trick is being prepared so that the season doesn’t catch you unaware. Here are a few winter safety tips that will keep you and your loved ones safe this season.

Avoid slips and falls

The biggest concerns for seniors all year long are slips and falls. They can occur anywhere in the home, no matter what time of year it is, but slips and falls are much more likely during the winter months.

Hire a snow removal team to shovel driveways and walkways, and keep cemented areas clear of snow and ice by laying down ice melt. Only attempt to walk in these areas if they are completely clear.

To make walking easier, make sure that you wear shoes with non-skid soles. You can also purchase traction cleats that can be attached to the bottom of your boots. Set up an area just inside the door where you can take off your shoes quickly and easily. The ice and snow can melt off of the bottom of your shoes and create slipping hazards inside.

Consider using a cane or a walker, even if you don’t normally use one. The extra support can prevent a potentially devastating fall.

Get the car ready for winter driving

Winter driving poses a challenge to all ages, but an accident can be especially devastating to a senior citizen. That’s why it’s so important to get the car ready for winter driving well before the first snow storm hits.

Take your vehicle in and have an inspection done. Make any repairs that need to be made, and ask for an oil change. Make sure the tires are full of air and the windshield wipers have been replaced.

You should also make sure that you have emergency roadside assistance. AAA is a good choice, but AARP is also an option because they offer roadside assistance too.

Prepare for power outages

Harsh winter weather can mean power outages. Preparing for one ahead of time greatly reduces the possibility of accidents.

Make sure you have easy access to a flashlight, no matter what room you’re in. It’s also a good idea to purchase a flashlight that plugs into the wall and automatically turns on when the power goes out.

Store warm blankets in an easy-to-reach closet so you can keep warm during the outage. You should keep plenty of non-perishable food around as well, that way you don’t have to go out during the outage to get food.

Click here for a complete list of supplies you should have handy to make it through a winter storm.

The best way to get the help you need

Of course, the best way to get the help you need if you experience a fall or a medical emergency in the winter is a medical alert system!

With fall detection and automatic call features, it’s the best way to get the help you need, no matter what mother nature throws your way. Check out our comprehensive reviews on in-home, mobile GPS, and automatic fall detection units to find one that fits your needs and your budget.

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