We all know how tough these cold Wisconsin winters can be, and they only get worse as we age. When we’re young, a snow-covered sidewalk and brisk gust of wind aren’t really anything to worry about. But as we get older, conditions like those are exactly what causes a fall and subsequent injury.
Winter is a time to use caution so you can avoid accidents and cold-related illnesses. Instead of going into hibernation, check out the helpful safety tips we’ve outlined below that will help keep you or your aging loved one safe during the wintertime.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults produce lower body heat thanks in large part to having a slower metabolism. Because of that, older adults should wear extra layers of clothing to reduce the negative effects of winter weather.
When venturing outside, a heavy coat, wool socks, and adequate outerwear (like a scarf to protect the lungs from cold air) are essential when the temperatures dip to extreme lows. This is true for even quick trips outside. Hypothermia is a real concern as we get older. If body temperature becomes lower than 95 degrees, medical attention is needed immediately.
Make sure to look at weather reports and prepare for any bad weather that may be on the horizon. If you or your loved one has an older car, make sure it’s been looked at so you know that it’s ready for wintertime. That means checking the tread on the tires and making sure the battery is fully functional.
If your area is prone to power losses during the wintertime, make sure you stock up on essentials like fresh water and canned foods. It’s also helpful to have flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries in case the outage lasts longer than expected.
Watch out for Depression
While there are many physical side-effects that can affect the elderly during wintertime, it’s important not to forget about the mental side-effects too. Aside from holidays, winter can be a time of isolation. Poor weather conditions make it difficult to travel and visit others, so some older adults might begin to feel isolated or lonely. You can avoid this by checking in as often as possible and asking about how they’re feeling.
Have a Plan
Assuring that someone is safe during the winter is more than just making sure they wear the right warm-weather gear and avoiding falls. They also need to have a plan in place for the real possibility of a fall or injury. You can do so by evaluating their current living situation and making adjustments to help. That can be as simple as making sure they have a cell phone or other communication device on them at all times — that way when a fall occurs, they can reach out and get help immediately.
How Assisted Living Can Help
If winter is becoming too difficult for you or a loved one, it might be time to consider Assisted Living. At Arbor View Assisted Living, residents enjoy independence while taking advantage of all of the safety features of our facility. Family members can rest easy knowing their loved one is not only safe from the hazards of winter weather but also secure in knowing they have the help nearby if something were to happen.
Please contact us today at Arbor View Assisted Living in Pewaukee, WI if you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour. You can call (262) 691-7400 to speak with a member of our team or fill out the form below and someone will reach out to you.