Advice for Elderly Caregivers in the Rough Michigan Winter Ahead
All the snow in Michigan over the past week reminds us that winter safety should be of top concern as we transition to the slippery, cold season.
Here is a list of things you can do as an elderly caregiver to ensure that they stay safe and warm this year.
Prevent Falls on Snow and Ice
Don’t let seniors shovel themselves! It’s one of the leading causes of injury during the winter.
- Get out the good, rubber soled boots or shoes
- Add non-skid pads to regular shoes
- Put new treads on canes and walkers
- Keep driveways and walkways clear, and put down some salt for extra stability
- Shovel regularly – ask a neighbor to help or hire a local service.
Make sure that the house is heated properly and safely.
- Ensure the furnace is running optimally and change the filter.
- If you use space heaters, make sure they’re working properly and don’t pose a fire risk.
- Add extra blankets and slippers, and ensure they are easily reached.
Staying Warm Outside
Seniors are more sensitive to the cold and need extra layers for warmth.
- A good coat, hat, gloves and boots are important
- Warm up the car a little extra
- Add thermal pants or shirts for extra warmth
Dealing with Severe Winter Weather
A few good snow storms are bound to happen, be prepared and be safe.
- Power outages can cause big problems, have a back-up plan in case the electricity, and furnace will be out for a while.
- Stock up on extra supplies in case leaving the house isn’t an option.
- Prepare a disaster kit for emergencies
Fighting Winter Depression
Beating cabin fever, anxiety and depression in winter just takes some TLC!
- Visit regularly, ask others to do the same.
- Get out regularly, even if it’s just to appointments (they’re easier to skip in the cold months)
- Hire a home health aide to help out a couple times a week
- Even a simple phone call can help
Seniors are more prone to wintertime dehydration
- The air is drier and even though we feel less thirsty, it’s just as important to drink enough water in the winter as it is in the summer.
- Proper nutrition, taking vitamins and ensuring overall health is vital
Auto Maintenance is Important Too
If you care for a senior who drives, help make sure the vehicle is ready for the winter.
- Check the tires to be sure they can handle another winter
- Make sure the antifreeze is full
- New windshield wipers can make a huge difference!
If you need help caring for an elderly parent during the winter months, Comprehensive Health Care can help!
Our skilled staff of home health aides, visiting nurses and more can make sure they are very well taken care of, and give you time to handle your own winter chores!
Call us today or email for a free consultation.