Ice and Snow Means Take It Slow!

February 1, 2019

Winter Safety Tips for Seniors:

  1. Avoid Slipping on Ice:
    Use salt and sand on driveways and sidewalks in the winter to melt snow and improve traction, and shovel your walkways often. If you’re not comfortable taking these steps, ask a friend or neighbor to help you.
  2. Dress for Warmth:
    If you need to go outside in cold weather, bundle up in layers of clothing, and wear a hat, scarf and gloves. Wear shoes with proper tread to avoid slips.
  3. Fight Wintertime Depression:
    Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during the cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation.
    To help avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible; even short, daily phone call can make a big difference. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends.
  4. Prepare for Power Outages:
    Stock up on fresh water and dried or canned food (make sure you have a working can opener). If you have pets, stock up on their food too.
    Set up a buddy system with a neighbor who will check on you in case of a storm.
  5. Eat a Varied Diet:
    Because people may spend more time indoors and may eat smaller variety of foods, nutritional deficits especially vitamin D deficiency- can be a problem. Eat a variety of food that is fortified with Vitamin D such as milk, grains and seafood options like salmon and tuna.
  6. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
    Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure safety by checking the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector or buying an updated one if you need to.

The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help. If you need to clear your property of snow and ice, don’t hesitate to ask a family member or neighbor, or hire a professional. Arrange rides to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments- many communities have shuttle services specifically for seniors. Finding a caregiver to assist your senior on a regular basis can also keep them safer all year round. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.