When winter comes the temperature drops, regardless of where you live. This can be especially difficult for seniors who may have a difficult time staying warm. Ice and snow add the danger of falls, and shorter, darker days can make home safety a challenge. If you are worried about an elderly loved one who still lives alone, here are some tips on how to keep them warm, safe and healthy during the winter months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 experience a fall each year and many lead to hospitalizations. It’s important to prevent falls from happening.
Here are some tips to preventing slips and falls
- Remove items in the home that are trip hazards, likes piles of newspapers, magazines and shoes, especially if they pile up on the stairs.
- Remove small throw rugs.
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the bathtub or shower.
- Use non slip bath mats in the tub and shower.
- Install good lighting in every room, stairways and the entry.
- Make sure that prescriptions don’t cause drowsiness or disorientation that could increase the risk of falling.
- Make sure that your loved one’s eyeglass prescription is checked every year.
Extended exposure to cold drafts in the home can lower an elderly person’s body temperature, increasing their chance of getting sick.
How to help your senior stay warm
- Encourage your loved one to wear several layers of clothes at once. Natural body heat is trapped in the air pockets between the layers helping to stay warm.
- Keep a throw blanket on the chair or couch within easy reach.
- Rearrange the furniture. The backs of chairs and couches can form a barrier against drafts from windows and doors.
- If the home has double hung windows, make sure they are fully closed on the top and the bottom.
- If the home has older windows, plastic sheeting can be placed over the entire window to provide a layer or insulation without blocking the light.
Most importantly, check in on your loved one frequently. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and make sure they are eating regularly and staying warm. If you need help LivHOME will check on your loved one for you. We will make sure that they have food, are taking their medications and staying warm. We will accompany them to the grocery store and physician’s appointments.
We can also coordinate care and make it easier for you to stay connected with your loved one with LivHOME Connect. At any time, your loved one can video chat with a Connect Advisor via tablet who will respond to concerns and monitor his or her current state and health condition. You can talk directly with your loved one, send them photos that revolve in a live gallery, and send them reminders for family events. It’s one more way that LivHOME helps to provide you peace of mind.