Preparing for Wintertime Challenges
Vida Proctor, is the General Manager at Harbour Hill and has over 25 years in the elder care sector. We are here to help, please email your questions to her, [email protected]
Chilling temperatures and treacherous winter conditions can often be a challenge during the winter months. Even simple things like going to the grocery store or picking up mail become a concern. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help seniors safe during the cold and snowy season:
Ice and snow-Sidewalks covered with snow or ice can pose a serious risk for seniors. Make sure that porches, driveways and sidewalks are clear of snow and ice. Add sand or salt to the surface to reduce the potential for falls. Hire an outside service to clean heavy snowed areas to reduce heavy pushing or lifting. Wearing proper sized footwear with tread is necessary. If using a cane, it is advisable to have new winter picks for support.
Dress for Warmth-Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia (a condition where the body temperature dips too low). Wearing layers of clothing helps regulate body temperature both inside and out. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.
Disaster kit-Winter storms can be fierce enough to knock down power lines, confining seniors to their homes. It is essential to make sure homes are equipped with a disaster kit. Stock up the cupboard with a week’s supply of non-perishable food and drinking water. Having a hand-operated can opener to use during power outages is helpful. Make sure there is a flashlight in the home with back up batteries.
Fill prescriptions of critical medications-Don’t let important medications run low during the winter. Switch your senior’s prescriptions to a local pharmacy that makes home deliveries or sign up with a mail order pharmacy so no one has to venture out in bad weather to pick up medications.
For caregivers- Check on your loved one frequently. Offer to shop for them and check on medications when the weather is very cold and snowy. Don’t wait for emergencies to develop a system to communicate. Call on a neighbor to physically check on you loved one if distance is an issue.
Check the Car-Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone, but it can be especially dangerous for older adults. Have your car serviced before the snowy cold weather comes. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads. Also make sure your CAA membership is up-to-date in case of emergencies.
Keep Your Spirits High -At Harbour Hill Retirement Community we understand how wintertime can be difficult for seniors. Reduced activity and opportunity to mingle with others can lead to depression. Beat the winter blues and inquire about our “Winter Stay” program. No snow or groceries to worry about, your medications will be ordered for you and an emergency response system is available in each fully furnished suite.
VISIT, LIVE IT, LOVE IT
A visit and a lunch, are all great ways to experience Harbour Hill. Even better, experience a trial stay to truly experience the ambiance of community living,giving you a chance to connect with the residents.
Harbour Hill Retirement Community offers independent, enhanced, respite and convalescent stays. We provide complimentary consultations, home visits and personalized orientations
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