With massive winter storms sweeping across the country, older adults and their loved ones need to take special precautions against conditions that can lead to potentially serious accidents or adverse medical conditions. Even in areas of the country where most of us may already be used to frigid temperatures, this year’s particularly extreme weather can take its toll on some of our most vulnerable citizens.
First and foremost, it is always a good idea to check in on our elderly relatives, neighbors, and friends during especially cold weather. Because older people lose heat from their bodies faster than younger people, it can be more difficult for elders to tell how cold they may actually be and taking prescription medication can further desensitize elders to colder temperatures.
Cold weather can bring icy precipitation that can leave not only roads slippery but also stairs and sidewalks so folks need to take precautions and wear non-skid shoes and weatherize any assistive devices like walkers. Take the time to shovel driveways, sidewalks, and stairs and lay ice-melting solutions down further prevent slips and falls. If you or your loved one has a medical condition like a heart condition, osteoporosis or trouble with balance may need to hire someone to clear driveways and sidewalks.