As the cusp of winter begins, and snowy storms swirl through the States, the time has come to publicize some crucial safety tips for seniors.
Be sure that the person has the medical supplies that he needs to get through even a month’s worth of winter at any point. He should have a full stock of medications, incontinence items, nonperishable food (in case of a blackout), body wipes, and all other hygiene products. This can be lifesaving in case of a severe storm.
Also, since power outages commonly occur during winter storms, keep a flashlight, spare batteries, and a battery powered radio in an easy-to-reach spot. Have a safe battery-powered heater (it’s worth spending the money to ensure it is safe and reliable) on hand. If there is a power failure, the person should layer up in warm clothing, put on a hat, and, if possible, try to keep moving so that his body temperature won’t be as low.
Winter is a dangerous season; the weather can get bitingly cold, which can result in a frightening amount of fatalities. Hypothermia, otherwise known as frostbite, is more common among seniors than among individuals of any other age group. According to the CDC, this is largely due to the fact that seniors tend to have slower blood circulation. It’s also because they usually have slower metabolisms, and not as much body fat.
Older people are also sometimes more prone to Hypothermia due to certain medical conditions, such as Diabetes and Thyroid problems, or certain medications that they’re taking.
To prevent Hypothermia from occurring inside (which is, in fact, an unfortunate possibility), be sure that the temperature inside is never less than 68 degrees. Also, be sure the person is dressed warmly in the winter. Of course, the person should not be going outside unless there is an unavoidable reason to. If a person’s body temperature is ever under 95 degrees, be in touch with a medical professional immediately.
Other perils that the winter queen scatters in her wake include raging fires, pounding hail, shimmering snow, and slippery ice.
Adults who are over 65 years old are double as likely to perish from a fire, and those over 85 are even more at risk of this. The reason why fires claim the lives of so many older adults is because the person is often physically weaker, and unable to get out alive within time.
The fires are often a result of heating or electrical issues. Since they have caused too many fires in the past, space heaters should only be of the highest quality; otherwise, they should never be used.
If you are finding it difficult to pay for your heating bills, there may be a way for you to get help – many states have programs to assist older individuals in such circumstances.