While the winter can be a beautiful time of year, the cold months can bring a series of risks for seniors. Check out some of these tips to stay safe this winter:
Avoid Slipping on Ice
During the winter months, seniors need to be aware of weather related hazards. Preventing slips and falls due to ice can reduce safety risks for seniors during the winter. According to Dr. Stanley Wang, a physician at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California, major injuries due to falling such as hip and wrist fractures and head trauma are a leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65. Avoid slippery walkways and steps when the temperature drops below freezing, and wear shoes with good traction.
Prevent hypothermia – Dress for Warmth
According to the National Institute of Aging, seniors lose body heat quicker than younger adults, putting them at a higher risk for hypothermia during the winter months. For seniors, a body temperature colder than 95 degrees can cause many health problems such as a heart attack, kidney problems, or liver damage. Lower your chance of hypothermia by staying out of the cold for long periods of time, and dressing in warm clothing, both inside your home and outside in the winter weather.
Eat a Varied Diet
Due to the lack of sun exposure during the cold winter months, many people experience vitamin D deficiencies. According to the International Osteoporosis Institution, a lack of vitamin D in the diet of someone over the age of 65 can be associated with decreased muscle strength, putting you at a greater risk of injury and falls. Include foods rich with vitamin D like dairy products, orange juice and fish, or introduce a vitamin D supplementation to improve lower limb strength and reduce your risk of falling.
Prepare for Winter Emergencies
The chances of weather related emergencies increase during the wintertime. Make sure you are well equipped with important phone numbers, non-perishable food options, and an emergency kit. The best way to prevent a crisis during a winter emergency is to plan ahead. Have emergency contact numbers, tools, medications, and a network of people easily accessible during the winter months.
If you are looking for a safe, reliable living space in the historic City of Lancaster, check out Steeple View Lofts. Lofts are available in one bedroom and two bedroom layouts, for adults 55 and over. For more information visit, steepleviewlofts.com.