Senior Living and the Dangers of Cold Weather

All of us need to use common sense when the weather dips to the single digits and the best place to be is inside, cozy and warm. It’s especially important for senior citizens still living on their own to be extra careful when the winter forecast looks bleak. Checking on friends, family, and neighbors during bad weather is something that should be standard practice during snow storms. There are even higher risks to seniors when exposed to inclement winter weather, making the tips below a worthwhile read from ehow.com public health and safety edition.

Check their heating (HVAC). Carbon monoxide is a real threat when the heat is running frequently. In many older homes, furnaces are not as efficient. Make sure the home has a carbon monoxide monitor and has received regular checks by an HVAC technician. It’s also important that battery-operated detectors are checked and new batteries are replaced at least annually.

Make sure they have the right supplies. Is a storm coming and they have salt by their doorstep?  If it’s not safe for them to venture outdoors to the mailbox, let them know you’ll bring the mail to them. Does your senior neighbor have bottled water, milk, bread and other food supply staples in case they are stuck indoors? A simple phone call asking if they have everything they will need will give you both peace of mind when a storm is passing through. No one likes to drive in bad weather, and senior citizens need to be extra cautious when adventuring outdoors in bad weather. Slips and falls are extremely common injuries for all ages when snow and ice is on the ground.

Stay in Contact. Perhaps the most important tip of all, remaining in contact with seniors during bad winter weather is crucial. If there’s a problem of any kind, you’ll be in touch with them to lend a helping hand or to send emergency assistance in dire times of need. Seniors living by themselves can also become quite lonely and depressed and sometimes just a short phone call lets them know you are there and thinking about them.

Soon, the white snow will melt and the flowers will start to bloom again, but until then take cold winter precautions and check on your senior friends often.