Prepare For Wintertime Dangers

By Chaley Crawford, MediLodge of Hillman Marketing Director

Happy 2014 Everyone!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and were able to spend time with family and friends. It sure has been a COLD winter so far! Wintertime can be a dangerous time of year, especially for the elderly, with the extreme cold and all of that slippery ice out there. Because of this I figured I would share some tips to help, whether it be for your parents, grandparents or even the sweet little lady next door. We all need to do our part to help them stay safe this time of year.

Avoid Slipping on Ice

shovelIcy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. Often these falls cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations. While younger people often recover rather quickly from such injuries, older adults face complication, which are the leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65. Make sure to shovel all walkways and keep them salted and clear of ice.

Dress for Warmth

Hillman Cold WeatherCold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. According to the CDC, more than half of hypothermia-related deaths were of people over the age of 65. So don’t let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. When going outside make sure they wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover the mouth and protect the lungs.

Fight Wintertime Depression

phoneBecause it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can cause feeling of loneliness and isolation. To help avoid this, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible; even a short phone call can go a long ways. If you can’t personally check on them, maybe a neighbor of theirs would do it for you.

Check the Car

winterDriving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone, but it is especially dangerous for older people who may not drive as often anymore or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Make sure they get their car serviced before wintertime hits, checking things like oil, tires, battery, and wipers.

Prepare for Power Outages

downed linesWinter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure they have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets and keep a supply of non-perishable foods than can be eaten cold.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poising

Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxidefireplace poisoning. Ensure safety by making sure there is a carbon monoxide detector in the house and that the batteries are still good. Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year and seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.

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For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Hillman

A summer pig-roast is one of many lovely activities involving lodgers, staff and the community.

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