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Winter Safety Tips

By Donna Stark

Frigid temperatures and treacherous conditions can pose serious problems for everyone, but it's our elderly loved ones who are the most at risk of getting hurt. With health conditions, balance issues, and cognitive decline to deal with, they are facing a bigger uphill battle than the rest of us. So why don't you help yours out a bit? Consider the following tips on how to protect and ensure the safety of those you love while Old Man Winter pays them a visit this year.

Adequate Heat

Older individuals are more susceptible to cold weather because they often have slow metabolism, poor circulation, and less body fat. If your loved ones live on their own, make sure their heating units work or have been serviced, and help them winterize their home. Also, advise them on how to wear layers throughout the day, especially if they head outdoors.

Clothing

Speaking of layers ... do your loved ones have appropriate winter-weather clothing? We're talking about jackets, gloves, hats, and scarves for the outdoors, and warm sweaters, pants, socks, and extra blankets in the house. This is important because the elderly tend to get colder quicker than the rest of us.

Dehydration

Many people tend to drink less water during the winter and as a result, are more prone to dehydration. Remind your loved ones to stay hydrated with these simple tips.

  • Carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day
  • Infuse water with fruits and vegetables to increase consumption
  • Drink hot tea to warm up instead of coffee
  • Increase consumption of soups

Weather Conditions

Sidewalks and steps can cause serious issues if they aren't cleared of snow and ice, and depending on your loved one's physical condition, you may need to step in to help. Make sure the pathways will be thoroughly treated for those hazards throughout the entire winter season and don't forget to check the tread on your loved one's shoes!

Storm Supplies

Winter storms can be brutal and if power outages are a common thing, it is essential to make sure your loved ones have plenty of non-perishable food and water in the home. You should also check to see if there are flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, and any necessary medication in the home. It's not unheard of to be without power for several days, so be sure they are stocked up with everything they may need!

Keeping Old Man Winter at Bay

It may only last for a few months, but Old Man Winter's visit can feel like an eternity if you aren't prepared. So, take care of your own needs and then head on over to take care of your loved ones too. Keeping friends and family safe and healthy during the colder months should be on top of everyone's priority list!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Renton, Wash.

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