From slippery roadways to an increase in airborne ailments, winter serves as the peak season for dangerous conditions for seniors. These increasing risks pose an immediate threat to those over 65 who are not adequately prepared for the winter season. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect you or your loved ones from these potential dangers that are cost-effective and easy to adapt.
Reduce Exposure to Rigid Temperatures
The dropping temperatures associated with winter months directly correlate to a heightened risk of seniors developing hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition in which a person’s body temperature drops to an exceedingly low rate. If you’re a senior, the chances of developing hypothermia dramatically increase due to the aging process naturally contributing to losing body heat at a faster rate. Protect yourself from this dangerous condition by avoiding low temperatures for prolonged periods of time, and always keeping your home heated at 65° or above. Also be sure to protect your lungs from the cold air by investing in some thermal wear and consistently dressing in layers. Reducing exposure to cold temperatures can protect your skin as well.
Prepare for the Dangers Linked to Icy Roads
Slippery roadways associated with winter weather escalate the amount of hip and wrist fractures due to an increase in falls. While people of all ages may be prone to falling on these slippery surfaces, the consequences can be much more dire for seniors. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in those who are over 65 years of age. You can dramatically reduce your risk of falling by making a new year’s resolution to get yourself some high-traction footwear. Make sure that you clean the crevices of your boots and shoes each time you expose them to winter weather because the accumulation of debris can wear down the traction.
Maintain a Nourishing Diet
Colder weather often has a large impact on our everyday diets, especially if you’re a senior. This is a result of many produce options being out of season, which causes a price increase on the fruits and vegetables that you normally purchase. Since over 25 million Americans over the age of 60 do not consider themselves economically secure, these small price increases can have a noticeable financial impact over time. Try to seek out frozen fruits and vegetables as a substitute, or even look into seasonal options such as cranberries or citrus fruits. The vitamin C present in citrus fruits can also help protect you against the increase of influenza by supporting your immune health.
Making it a new year’s resolution to commit to these precautionary methods can give you the reassurance that you or your loved ones will remain safe throughout the season. The risks that winter poses to senior citizens is certainly alarming, but the correct levels of preparedness can significantly decrease the likelihood of inherent danger. The comfort of knowing that you and your family will be safe during these colder months will allow you to enjoy the beautiful season without the extra anxiety. The Arbors Assisted Living is a community that supports safety for all our seniors. Contact us to learn more.