Winter poses unique challenges to people of all ages, but that is especially true for older adults. Everything from cold weather to slippery walkways can be dangerous, and sometimes it’s up to senior care providers to take steps to help older adults stay safe once winter arrives.
The most significant danger facing seniors in the winter is hypothermia. While younger adults may not think twice about being cold inside the home, because seniors have slower circulation and metabolism, they are more susceptible to hypothermia. Caregivers should make a point to always have the thermostat set 65 degrees or above.
Falls are a significant concern any time of the year, but during the winter the risk is raised considerably. Ice and snow can make once-safe walkways a serious tripping hazard. Making sure paths are salted or sanded for better traction is important, but if it’s especially dangerous caregivers should help seniors perform tasks – like getting the mail – to prevent any accidents.
Seasonal depression strikes many people during the winter, and that includes seniors. Companionship care is crucial during most times of the year, but when the weather turns cold and the days become shorter, helping keep homebound seniors active is of the utmost importance.