Elder Care Helps Seniors Navigate the Colder Weather

Elder Care Helps Seniors Navigate the Colder Weather

 January 16, 2024

A man and woman holding an orange carrot in their mouth.

It is especially important to focus on the health and safety of senior citizens as the chill of winter settles in, especially since they may experience particular difficulties adjusting to the cooler temperatures. While it might seem simpler to encourage them to stay indoors, that isolation can have devastating effects. Plus, there might be times when staying indoors isn’t possible. Thankfully, with an experienced elder care aide by their side, seniors can learn to be mindful of the dangers of cooler temperatures and how to navigate winter safely.

Dress for Success

The secret to dressing for the winter is layering. The elder care team can encourage seniors to dress in layers by helping them select warm, wind- and water-resistant clothes. To maintain body heat, they might also incorporate thermal layers–such as thermal socks, gloves, and a hat–underneath their outer garments. Additionally, on slick surfaces, a strong pair of boots with good traction will offer stability.

Wear Appropriate Footwear

Speaking of footwear, seniors are already at risk of slip and fall accidents, so helping them maneuver when there might be ice and snow on the ground only increases that risk. Suggest that they wear shoes with non-slip soles or purchase ice grips that they may put on the bottom of their shoes. Reminding seniors to walk more slowly and with smaller steps is also crucial for maintaining their balance.

Winter-Ready Accessories

In the winter, accessories can be quite helpful in keeping seniors warm and safe. A warm scarf and a waterproof, insulated jacket are great additions to their winter outfit. Remember to stress how important it is for them to wear sunglasses in order to shield their eyes from the strong winter sun and possible frostbite.

Assistance with Public Transit

While the elder care team is available to offer transportation, seniors should still understand how to access public transportation if that’s not an option. Depending on where they live, this might be easier said than done. For those on a bus line, the home care team can teach them how to read the routes and even ride with them a time or two. For others who live in communities without a bus, showing seniors how to access rideshare programs and discussing their safety when doing so is critical.

Create a Winter Emergency Kit

Assist seniors in assembling a compact winter emergency kit that they may keep with them. Add a small blanket, hand warmers, a flashlight, an additional pair of gloves, and other necessities. This pack offers comfort and safety during winter excursions and might be a lifesaver in unforeseen circumstances.

Promote Socialization

As mentioned, while it might be easier for seniors to simply stay inside–and they may prefer to do so–this can lead to isolation and depression. The elder care team can assist them in finding indoor activities or community events to promote socializing. Participating in activities such as group exercise classes, library events, or local senior centers keeps one active and engaged, which is crucial for mental and physical health.

Getting out in the cooler months, especially in the older years, requires careful preparation and thoughtfulness. Elder care and loved ones can help seniors stay safe, stay active, and stay warm by ensuring they’re prepared when they head outdoors.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Elder Care in Greentree, PA, please contact the caring staff at In-Home Quality Care today. Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 1990! Call 412-421-5202

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