Staying Safe During the Winter Months
As winter hits us with full force, there will be holiday gatherings and fun in the snow; but we must also remember that there are a number of hazards, especially for mature adults, that we should watch for.
In particular, seniors should be mindful of hypothermia, falling on icy pavements, and the flu or pneumonia.
Our bodies lose heat faster as we age, and we experience changes in our bodies that can make it harder to be aware of getting cold.
Dressing appropriately for the weather is important. Wear layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots. In addition, make sure to have a plan in place for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.
In addition, to preventing hypothermia, set your heat to at least 68–70°F or higher if needed, dress warmly on cold days even if you are staying in the house, and don't be afraid to ask family or friends to check on you during cold weather.
Watch for Fall Hazards
Unfortunately, falls are common among senior citizens, especially during the winter. Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it particularly easy to slip and fall, and these falls can cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures. While younger people recover fairly quickly from these sorts of injuries, older adults may often experience complications, which are a leading cause of death from injury in people over the age of 65.
Experts advise that seniors wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles. If you use a cane, be sure to replace a worn tip to make walking easier, as well.
Keep the Bugs Away
Older adults' immune systems grow weaker with age, putting them more at risk for illnesses and additional complications from those illnesses. Furthermore, the strain on the body with an already existing health problem can increase when an additional illness is acquired, including the flu.
Seniors should get their flu vaccines every year, and their loved ones who around them should as well. The flu ranges from being mild to severe and can cause severe complications for children, seniors, and people with other health conditions.
For seniors, a single hospitalization can be life-changing, leading to deterioration of muscle strength and loss of independence. It's critical to stay out of the hospital and to maintain your health. Vaccinations will reduce the risk of complications, such as pneumonia, which may result in hospitalization or even death.