New challenges arise for everyone during the winter months, but the season can be especially precarious for a senior citizen. If you provide home care for an elderly parent, here are a few tips to help him or her stay safe when the cold weather blows in.
Protect Against the Cold
The CDC states that more than half of cold weather-related deaths occur in adults over the age of 65. Make sure your loved one has a well-maintained and working heating system during the winter months and that the home is well stocked with varied and nutritious foods to reduce grocery trips. Your senior loved one should also wear layers–even indoors–including a warm hat, socks, gloves, and scarf. Seek medical assistance if your loved one’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees.
Protect Against Slips
Prevent the common slips and falls related to winter weather by providing your loved one with shoes that have non-skid soles to increase traction on slippery surfaces. Make sure that he or she takes shoes off immediately upon entering a home to avoid creating slippery surfaces indoors. Check cane tips as well to determine if the tip is worn and needs to be replaced.
Prepare for Outages
Winter storms can cause power outages. Stock your loved one’s home with non-perishable foods in case the electricity goes out, make sure flashlights are easily accessible, and keep a large amount blankets in an easy-to-reach place. Warn your loved one about the importance of never using an electric generator indoors, and be sure that his or her electric space heater is one with non-glowing components and automatic shut-off.
Prevent Seasonal Depression
Harsh weather and reduced daytime light can cause depression during the winter months, especially in a senior citizen who may have trouble getting about in cold conditions. Check in with your senior loved ones more often than usual–sometimes just a simple call can do wonders. Arrange a check-in system with your family so that a continuous line of communication is maintained. You might also consider a Fairfield caregiver who can regularly offer companionship and emotional support.
Keep your loved one safe and warm this winter with help from Home Care Assistance. We offer comprehensive live-in, hourly, and respite care in Fairfield, ensuring seniors have the help they need to maintain a high quality of life in the familiarity of home. Learn more by calling 203-955-1915 and speaking with a friendly Care Manager.