From slips and falls to frostbite and hypothermia, providers of in-home care in Colorado Springs understands that the winter season poses unique risks for senior adults. Motor function, balance, and even core body temperatures change as we age, which makes seniors more susceptible to health problems and injuries when the temperature cools. Here are a few tips for keeping your elderly loved one safe when it’s cold outside.
Service the Heating System
All heating systems work more efficiently with annual maintenance, but professional service is particularly important for fuel-burning furnaces and boilers. Fuel combustion has a corrosive effect that can cause dangerous gases like carbon monoxide to backdraft into living spaces. Remember to keep the thermostat set between 65 and 68 degrees.
Winterize the Car
Ensure that your loved one’s car is prepared for cold weather. Check the tires, antifreeze levels, and windshield wipers and make sure that the car has a full tank of gas. Be sure to stock the car with emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, warm blankets, food, water, and a flashlight just in case your loved one’s care breaks down in the cold.
Check the Wardrobe for Warm Clothing
Seniors should wear layers of loose-fitting clothing while outdoors in chilly weather. In addition to a water-resistant coat and sturdy shoes, it’s important that your elderly loved one keeps his or her head, neck, and hands warm with a hat, scarf, and gloves.
Know the Signs of Hypothermia
Lower core body temperatures make seniors more prone to hypothermia. Familiarize yourself with the condition’s early signs, which include pale skin, a puffy face, confusion, fatigue, sleepiness, and trouble walking. If you notice the symptoms of hypothermia, call 911 immediately to get your loved one medical attention.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Make sure that your senior’s home is equipped with a working fire extinguisher, a smoke detector, and a carbon monoxide detector, as well. If you can’t check on your loved one as frequently as you’d like, the winter season is a great time to enlist help from a Colorado Springs hourly care provider.
Winter isn’t all fun and games, which is why it’s important to consider the above safety tips while caring for your senior loved one. To learn more about winter safety or find reliable home care for your loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to helping seniors with daily duties, we provide comprehensive dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s care Colorado Springs families can trust. Whether your loved one needs help shoveling the driveway, making a hot bowl of soup, or doing the laundry, we can help. Call us today at (719) 822-1229 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.