Wintertime brings some brutally cold weather that can cause certain hazards for seniors. Seniors can prepare by planning ahead, so they can avoid these dangers.
What Should Seniors Avoid This Winter Season
5 Strategies for seniors staying safe this winter:
1. Winter Temps Dropping
Winter weather that causes troubles
Ice and snow can pose major road hazards. If road conditions are at their worst, seniors must avoid driving, and those who drive should be prepared for the conditions. Make sure the snow-tires are mounted when necessary, and if the vehicle is stuck or damaged, keep blankets and food in the car.
Studies have shown a direct link between cold weather and falls in the elderly. Therefore, winter fall prevention in the elderly is a concern. Slips on ice are a major risk for seniors in winter, so it’s important to wear shoes with appropriate traction.
Low temperatures can lead to hypothermia and frostbite. Nearly half of hypothermic deaths are among adults, according to Centers for Disease Control. Older adults who are outside in cold weather should be sure to dress warmly. Hypothermia can even occur indoors among some frail seniors if the home air temperature is not adequate, so seniors must keep their thermostats above 65 degrees and seek help if they lose heating in an emergency.
2. Lack of Daylight
A decrease in the amount of daylight can lead to complications in regards to dementia and sundowners syndrome. Sundowning symptoms increase in winter because of low light conditions. Our bodies become disrupted by the season’s low light causing a shift in our internal clocks.
Seasonal changes can impact symptoms, which makes it important to establish a routine and do things to lessen the impact of the loss of light. Certain steps to minimizing sundowners is following a routine, let light into the home, and promote a relaxing environment.
3. Avoid Colds
The change of seasons into winter always bring flu season. Seniors are especially susceptible to illness because of their weakened immune systems. Unfortunately, the flu causes a high number of deaths in seniors every year because it can lead to conditions like pneumonia.
Seniors can take steps against the flu by getting a flu shot early in the season Also, by staying hydrated and keeping warm.
4. Overcoming Winter Blues
During the winter, most people experience a drop in strength and mood caused by a reduction of daylight during the winter. This condition is referred to as “seasonal affective disorder” or “SAD.” During winter, open blinds and curtains to allow natural lighting. Light therapy can also be used to avoid and relieve the winter blues by using full-spectrum lights found in many box stores.
5. Stay Social
The very dangers we mentioned above can lead to social isolation for seniors. You can also arrange rides to the nearby senior center, the place of worship of your loved one, and to other locations where there are chances to socialize.
The Victorian Assisted Living and Retirement Community
The Victorian is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.