Winters in New York can be harsh. As such, it is important to prepare your elderly loved ones for the Winter and help them stay safe. This article will discuss the potential dangers to elderly individuals, and what precautions you and your family can take to prepare them for the winter ahead.

Winter Gear

It is important to prepare your loved one for the Winter weather. Many elderly individuals are at a higher risk of experiencing hypothermia and frostbite in Winter. This is because your body reacts to temperature differently as you age. Many of the nervous system’s receptors weaken with age. Overall, this makes the body less receptive to extreme temperatures. Make sure that your loved one has a good winter coat, hat, gloves or mittens, and a scarf. Consider getting thermal under clothing for them as well. Waterproof winter boots can also be important. If you believe that your loved one is suffering from hypothermia or frostbite, call 911.

Snow Removal

Your elderly loved one may have difficulty clearing snow from their property. Shoveling puts a lot of strain on the body. You should make a plan with your loved one regarding their walkways. Consider asking one of their neighbors for help, or hire a snow removal service.

Avoiding Ice Slips

Ice sheets can create dangerous hazards for anyone, but especially seniors. Slipping on ice can be fatal, especially if your loved one is on blood thinners. Make sure that any shoes or winter boots that your loved one may wear out of the house have good traction. Proper traction is also important for canes and walkers. If your loved one does not use a cane, consider asking them to use one in the Winter. Be sure to salt your loved one’s walkway to mitigate ice buildup.

Heaters and Fire Hazards in the Winter

During the winter, it is common for people to use space heaters or other devices for warming up the house. However, these can create fire hazards for your loved one. Make sure that space heaters are at least 3 feet away from bedding, curtains, furniture, or other flammable objects. Remind your loved ones to not leave plug-in heaters running when not at home. Additionally, test fire and carbon monoxide detectors in their home, and replace batteries or units as needed.

Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical or healthcare advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information, contact Safe Harbor by clicking here, or call us at (718)-979-6900.