When winter comes, unfortunately, 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 winter safety for seniors a challenge. If you are wondering how to prevent falls in the elderly over the winter months, here are some senior safety tips to keep them warm, safe and healthy this cold season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 experience a fall each year—and may lead to hospitalizations. It’s important to understand these fall safety tips and how to properly assess home safety to reduce falls in the elderly.
Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors
- Remove items from 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, these senior safety tips require you to check in 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 and can complete a comprehensive home safety evaluation. We will make sure your loved one has food, is taking their medications and staying warm. We can accompany them to the grocery store and physician 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.