The winter months can present a special challenge for senior citizens. The cold temperatures, ice, and snow can lead to illness and injuries. Here are eight tips for caring for your loved one during the winter months.
1. Find non-skid shoes. Falling on sidewalks and other icy surfaces could result in injuries such as a broken hip. To help protect your loved one, find shoes that have a non-skid sole. You also need to ensure his or her walking cane has a good tip to avoid accidents.
2. Get a flu vaccination. Elderly people are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to the flu virus. You can help protect your loved one from the disease and its symptoms by ensuring he or she has the vaccination at the start of the season.
3. Check for carbon monoxide alarms. The use of the heaters during the winter months puts your loved one at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure his or her home is equipped with working carbon monoxide alarms.
4. Prepare for outages. Due to the weather, it is possible that electrical outages will occur. You need to prepare an emergency kit that includes items such as a flashlight, batteries, first-aid supplies, and medicine. You also need food for several days that can be cooked without the need for electricity.
5. Encourage clothes layering. Even in the home, it is important that your loved one wears layers of clothes to keep warm. Older people lose heat faster than other groups and this could make them more vulnerable to illness.
6. Avoid windy days. If possible, avoid taking your loved one outside on windy days. Windy days can result in the loss of body heat quicker than usual. If you do take your loved one outside, ensure he or she is bundled up.
7. Check on your loved one. Checking up on your loved one ensures that he or she is in good health. If you are unable to, consider hiring a health care worker who can perform checkups on a daily basis.
8. Recognize when it is time for more care. If your loved one is showing signs that he or she needs more care, consider moving him or her to a senior care facility like ComForcare Home Care - Bloomfield Hills, MI. Signs can include consistent forgetfulness and dangerous behavior such as starting a fire.
Fortunately, the winter months pass quickly and your loved one can get back to his or her normal routine. Taking extra precautions during the winter not only ensures he or she is healthy, it helps to keep your mind at ease.