Living in a state where it snows heavily in the winter season can make life difficult for everyone. While the beauty of snow is undeniable, dealing with it every year can be a bit rough, especially for older adults.
Whether your aging parents live alone or with you, you should know all about essential winter safety tips to prepare them for the colder weather ahead. To make your life easier, we have come up with a list of things you need to do to ensure older adults can cope with frigid weather.
The very first concern of any adult child would be their parents’ health. It is best to understand that the likelihood of developing a cold or the flu can increase in cold weather. Many seniors may also develop a condition known as hypothermia, so you must keep a check on your parents to ensure they do not have it. Apart from hypothermia, cold weather can be especially challenging for people with medical conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure, all of which are common in older adults. Having someone to take care of your parents when you are busy, unavailable, or have to leave for your job can be helpful.
Dryness is another common concern in winters. While people with sensitive skin face this issue in cold weather, it is more alarming when a senior adult goes through it. If your aging parent neglects to keep their skin moist, it may be your responsibility to take care of it. Make sure that they are using a lotion or cream that suits their skin type and will not have any side effects.
Before the arrival of cold weather, check all the e-devices and other vital tools for winters lying around your parents’ house. From the heater to the oven to their car, you should check everything beforehand to ensure that everything is operating properly.
Apart from checking the devices and ensuring that they are working fine, it would be best to stock up on essentials. Pantry food items and medicines are on top of the list. It can be difficult for your aging parents to go and buy groceries every other day. Thus, you need to see if they have everything they might need for at least a week.
Many people prefer staying at home during the winter months unless it is extremely necessary to go outside. This means that your aging parents might get stuck at home alone. While depression is common in seniors, it can worsen if they are not socially active and left on their own.
Negative thoughts can haunt them, so ensure that even if it is difficult for you to visit them regularly, you are staying connected over video calls. By doing so, you don’t have to worry about them too much, and they can feel reassured that someone is there for them. If video calls aren’t possible, checking up on them with voice calls can go a long way. You can also ask their caregiver to keep them occupied throughout the day so they do not feel lonely.
A great way to fight depression while staying active is to exercise. While every senior citizen should engage in daily exercise, no matter what season, movement becomes even more significant with aging. It can help seniors stay active and keep them warm. The body temperature of a senior can drop faster in winters. Hence, daily exercise can help resolve the issue at hand.
Traveling outside or within the state during winters comes with numerous uncertainties. You can get stuck, and your flight can get canceled because of the weather. Thus, if you are planning to travel with an elderly, do check the weather forecast beforehand. Avoid traveling in extreme weather conditions, and if it is absolutely necessary, pack their essentials accordingly. Plan for unexpected delays and ensure that you have an extra stock of prescription and over-the-counter medications so that their health is not at stake in any unfortunate situation.
Even if they are not traveling out of state, just going out for a walk or grocery shopping also need to be monitored. Make sure your parents wear extra layers of clothing and have their heads and necks covered properly. Keep in mind that warm clothing for seniors is a priority during winters, and you should prepare for it in advance.
Another significant thing to keep a check on is their diet. In general, you need to add more healthy food in the winter season to give your body the heat it needs. However, with seniors, things can get a bit complicated. For example, they need to increase the protein intake in their diet but eating a particular food might trigger another medical condition. Thus, you should consult with their doctor and have a diet plan created for their particular health condition.
Slips and Falls
Seniors require support, especially in winters, because of the increased chances of slip and fall cases. With snow being all over the place, it is risky for them to leave the house or even move around in the house alone. If you are afraid that being with them throughout the day is not possible for you, you can always hire a caregiver. Hiring a home health aide is an excellent way of taking care of your parents during your absence.
If you require further assistance for home care services, give us a call at 718-461-9602 or drop an email at email@example.com so that we can take the process forward!