During the frigid winter months, problems that seem like minor inconveniences during the rest of the year become even harder to deal with. Snow, ice, cold and less daylight make this time especially tough for seniors who live alone or have a difficult time walking. For the senior in your life, here are some tips to avoid major safety hazards this winter season.
Home Care for Seniors Avoids Weather Woes
When temperatures dip into the single-digits or below freezing, we all feel the chill deep in our bones. Seniors who don’t move around much or suffer certain health problems can get especially cold. Be sure to wear multiple layers to hold in body heat. It may even be worth wearing a hat indoors, if necessary. Also, check for drafts around the house near windows and doors. While replacing these items is costly, you might use caulk or foam to seal windows more tightly or a draft-blocker for the door. Caregivers from Sunny Days In-Home Care can be on-hand to ensure seniors stay warm, and avoid traversing ice and snow by getting the mail or running errands for them.
Home Care for Seniors Helps During Emergencies
Winter storms can wreak havoc on our homes and communities, knocking out the power and threatening essential services. Be prepared for a power outage by keeping flashlights and LED candles easily accessible in each room of the house. It’s also a good idea for seniors to keep a small LED flashlight in their pocket in case they’re walking around the house when the lights go out. If the heat is out, it’s going to get cold quickly. Be sure to bundle up with lots of layers, blankets and even a hat. Never use the oven, gas heaters or lanterns as a heat source, as these can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and also increase the risk of fire. Learn more with this winter weather checklist from the CDC.
Fight Winter Depression With Senior Home Care
Many people suffer from weather-related mood disorders, but seniors are especially at risk, according to the CDC. Depression is more common among people with chronic health conditions, and with 80% of older adults suffering at least one chronic condition, and 50% with as many as two, winter depression becomes a serious risk. The possibility of depression only gets worse for seniors who live alone or are socially isolated. Home care can greatly alleviate feelings of loneliness, and caregivers can be on the lookout for signs of depression, getting seniors the help they need more quickly. In addition, the personal attention seniors receive from Sunny Days In-Home Care caregivers improves their self-worth, contributing to a better attitude. Being bathed, wearing clean clothes and eating a good meal can significantly improve a person’s mood.