During the winter months, ice, snow and cold temperatures can make life challenging for everyone. Slippery sidewalks and cold weather can be especially dangerous to the elderly. A fall on the ice or a bout with the flu can have serious, even life threatening consequences. And, when the hustle and bustle of the holiday season ends, the long, grey days of January and February can be isolating. So this winter, it’s important for the elderly and their caregivers to take extra precautions to stay safe, healthy and engaged. Here are some tips.
- Keep an emergency kit stocked and easily accessible with water, a flashlight, batteries and blankets. Make sure you have at least a seven-day supply of medications and a three-day supply of non-perishable food on hand.
- Watch the temperature. Make sure the inside temperature is at least 68 degrees to prevent hypothermia.
- Stay inside during bad weather, but get together with friends or family when possible to stay active and engaged. The local senior center will have lists of upcoming programs and community activities.
- Practice good nutrition. A balanced diet is even more important in winter, when everyone is less active. Consider Meals on Wheels for nutritious meals delivered regularly to your door.
- Have a cell phone handy – and make sure it is charged. When a severe winter storm hits with power outages and phone lines down, a cell phone will keep everyone connected and can be a life saver in a medical emergency.
Finally, remember that the staff of Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice and HomeCare, Inc. will brave any weather to ensure our patients receive the care they need at home. And, our expert “Snow Storm Soldiers” will even help by planning ahead when a storm is in the forecast, ensuring patients have food, medications and support they need to stay safe. View all our services on this website or call 978-552-4186 for a brochure.