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Keeping Seniors Safe This Winter

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

If you provide home care for an elderly parent, you know how imperative it is to take action to ensure he or she remains safe in the winter. Here are a few tips that will keep the elderly safe during the chilly season.

Keep Outdoor Walkways Clear

An icy walkway can be extremely dangerous for senior citizens, which is why it is crucial for Lehigh Valley caregivers to keep walkways clear of ice. Salt or sand can help keep walkways clear from ice. Caregivers should be sure to check walkways frequently when temperatures are below freezing. By keeping walkways clear, seniors are less likely to slip and fall.

Be Cautious of Hypothermia

The majority of elderly individuals become cold quickly, and they are at an increased risk for developing hypothermia. Hypothermia is when an individual’s body temperature drops below 96 degrees. A caregiver can protect seniors by making sure they wear proper clothing when going outside, keeping their place of residence properly heated, and providing them with warm drinks and meals.

Keep Seniors Busy During the Winter

Senior citizens are at risk for developing seasonal depression, but this can be avoided if they are kept busy. Activities, which can include crossword puzzles, games, and books, can be an ideal way to stimulate their minds and keep them occupied. Light and supervised indoor exercise can also be good for seniors to keep muscles toned and bones strong.

Remove or Unplug Fire Hazards

At advanced ages, it becomes increasingly easy to forget that appliances are on. During the winter, seniors often use space heaters to stay warm, but improper use is a leading cause of fires. Make sure your loved one keeps the heater away from drapes, blankets, and clothing, and upgrade an existing heater to one that is programmable and has an auto-shutoff safety feature.

Ensure your senior loved one remains safe during the coldest months with help from Home Care Assistance. We offer live-in, hourly, and respite care in the Lehigh Valley, and our caregivers can provide safety monitoring, mobility support, companionship, and a number of other tasks to keep seniors safe, happy, and healthy. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call 484-350-3874 and request a free in-home consultation.