Whether or not you love the winter months, staying safe and prepared for various weather conditions is important. Chilly temperatures and icy conditions can be particularly dangerous for older adults. Aside from an increased risk of falls due to slippery terrain, seniors also tend to be susceptible to flu and pneumonia because of weakened immune systems. Being aware of and preparing for the winter can help keep them safe and comfortable until the spring. Following these winter safety tips for seniors is a good place to start.
At Buckner Retirement Services, we understand how to help seniors make the most of the winter months while staying protected. We are passionate about security at Buckner Retirement, and we do our best to ensure that our residents are able to stay active while still staying safe. To learn more about winter activities and senior living, call Buckner Retirement Services at 855.931.5688.
5 Winter Safety Tips for Seniors
1. Have Appropriate Clothing for the Weather
Dressing appropriately for the weather is one of the most important steps seniors can take to stay safe in cold temperatures. It’s best to wear layers of clothing and avoid wearing cotton, which does not provide adequate insulation against the cold. Additionally, hats, gloves, and scarves should be worn whenever possible since these items can prevent heat from escaping the body more efficiently than any other garment. Additionally, it’s important that seniors check their skin regularly while dressing, as extreme temperatures can cause frostbite.
2. Stave off Seasonal Depression
One of the biggest challenges during the winter months is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is common among people of all ages, but its effect on seniors can be markedly more severe. Thankfully, technology has allowed senior adults more opportunities to stave off SAD. Video chatting with a loved one or engaging in online mental health therapy can be a great help in maintaining a sense of normalcy during the coldest and darkest months of the year. Staying active is also a good way to prevent SAD and has physical health benefits as well.
3. Eat Healthily
Due to the lower temperatures and shorter days, it can be challenging to get outside and soak up some much-needed sunlight. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is crucial in supporting bone health and getting enough vitamin D to help control infections and reduce inflammation. Several high-calcium and high-vitamin foods that a senior adult can incorporate include:
- Dairy products
- Sesame, celery, and chia seeds
- Beans and lentils
- Salmon and sardines
- Fortified cereals
- Egg yolks
4. Wear the Proper Footwear
Snow and icy sidewalks can make for dangerous surfaces to walk on, leading to serious falls. Any time a senior adult goes outside, whether it’s a short walk to the mailbox or a long walk for exercise, it’s best to ensure that they have the proper footwear for the weather conditions outside. Non-slip footwear with plenty of tread for grip is the right choice. Any caregivers or loved ones should be aware of locations around the house that tend to form icy patches, such as along sidewalks or driveways. If necessary, they should assist the senior if the conditions are too risky. Preventing falls is always much easier than recovering from one.
5. Take Stock of Necessary Medications
Certain medical conditions make it difficult for the body to hold on to heat. Some medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, can also have a detrimental effect on a person’s ability to stay warm. It’s best to ask a physician about any prescription medications that are being taken to determine if they may compromise a senior’s ability to stay warm during winter. Additionally, it’s also good to have enough stock of any prescribed medications and over-the-counter cold medications in case the forecast shows that a big winter storm or particularly bad weather is expected.
Learn More Winter Safety Tips at Buckner Retirement Services
At Buckner Retirement Services, our staff is dedicated to creating a safe and comfortable environment for all residents. We are passionate about providing quality care and services to meet each resident’s specific needs. Contact us today at 855.931.5688 to learn more winter safety tips for seniors or to get started in one of our communities.