While we may be questioning the weather here in Denver these past few weeks, wondering if it’s really winter, a late night walk will let you know it can turn cold quickly this time of year.
Winter brings snow, ice and bitter cold. Seniors are susceptible to illness and falls, more so than younger generations. A fall can quickly lead to a broken hip and a cold can quickly develop into pneumonia. The following cold weather safety tips for seniors can help the aging generations stay warm, safe and healthy.
Dress warmly when outside – Wear layers of clothes, such as an undershirt, a shirt, then jacket. Wear mittens instead of gloves because when your fingers touch, they produce more heat. Always wear a hat! A large percentage of body heat is lost through the head.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – Winter is a time for heaters and fireplaces. These can lead to fires and seniors can succumb faster to smoke inhalation. Carbon monoxide is deadly to anyone at any age.
Non-skid boots are a must – Proper footwear is important to protect against slipping and falling. If you use a cane, make sure it has a rubber tip that will provide grip instead of slippage.
Keep the heat set at a minimum of 65 degrees – At this temperature, you will be protected against hypothermia. Do not place your worry of a high bill over your own safety.
Stay in touch with friends and family – It is essential that the lines of communication are kept open between seniors and their loved ones. Check in with friends and family on a regular basis to let them know you are okay.
Keep your car tuned and a safety kit in the trunk – Accidents happen. If you have to drive, make sure your car is fueled and ready to handle the cold. Drive safely and if an accident happens, use your safety kit to stay warm. Include a blanket, flashlight, water, and non-perishable food in your kit.