We’re all affected by the cold weather winter bring each year. But this season presents unique challenges and hazards for seniors.
With knowledge and advanced planning, your elderly loved one can avoid these five winter hazards.
1. Cold, Snow and Ice
The most obvious perils of winter are the weather, which brings freezing temperatures and snow to many of our communities. Slips on icy patches are a major risk for seniors, so make sure you wear shoes with plenty of traction. Avoid driving when ice and snowstorms create dangerous road conditions, and always dress warmly if you do venture out.
2. Social Isolation
The weather hazards outlined above might lead to social isolation. If your senior loved one is spending a lot of time at home due to inclement weather, spend extra time visiting there. Consider arranging transportation to the local senior center, your loved one’s church or their adult daycare program.
3. Flu season
Seniors are especially susceptible to developing the flu due to weakened immune systems. The flu can also lead to secondary infections like pneumonia. Make sure your senior loved one gets a flu shot each year.
4. “The Wintertime Blues”
Many people experience seasonal affective disorder, or “the wintertime blues.” It’s characterized by a decrease in mood and energy and caused by less daylight in winter months. Open blinds and curtains to let natural light in. Always talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing depression.
5. Decreased Daylight and Dementia
Seniors with dementia, like Alzheimer’s, might experience sundowners syndrome, or increased memory loss, agitation, confusion and even anger during the evening hours. It’s often exacerbated during the winter because low light often disrupts our body’s internal day/night clock. Maintain a regular routine with your senior loved one and promote a relaxing environment, or consider professional memory care services.
How do you deal with winter hazards? Share your tips with Kingston HealthCare by calling 419-247-2880 or contacting us online today!