Three Safety Considerations for Seniors Over the Winter

Three Safety Considerations for Seniors Over the Winter

Are you looking forward to the holiday season this year? The team at Loyal Lifts certainly is, and we can’t wait to celebrate safely this winter! While the holidays are filled with fun, the winter also brings hazards, especially for our older loved ones. 

In this article, we will discuss a few considerations you will want to keep in mind as you prepare to spend time with loved ones this winter. It is important that you make everyone feel accommodated without feeling burdensome. The best way to do that is by being prepared. We know these tips will help you ensure everyone you celebrate with feels safe and welcome.


Three Safety Considerations for Seniors Over the Holidays and in Winter in Western North Carolina

1) Avoiding Slips

Studies have shown that one out of every three adults over the age of sixty-five will experience a fall, and most of these stumbles will occur outside of the home. As a senior, it is important that you understand the risks of falling and are aware of strategies to prevent falls from happening. 

As we get older, we are more affected by weakness, joint arthritis, neuropathy, illness, and disease. Each of these factors leads to the deterioration of our sensory perception. These changes, especially in places like the bottoms of our feet, make us more prone to slips and falls as we age. 

One of the best ways to avoid falls is to prepare for out-of-home excursions before arrival. As you make plans, it is critical that you anticipate the needs of the seniors in your party. When choosing your destination, ensure the venue is accessible to all members of the group. Look for handrails and try to use ramps whenever possible. 

You will also want to make sure to budget extra travel time for those who may need to move slower in the presence of ice. When walking through snowy parking lots, be vigilant of concrete car stops and other hazards obscured by snowfall, and as you enter buildings, be prepared for wet floors. 

Also, try to avoid crowded areas where people are likely to be bumping into one another, such as subway stations and storefronts, and always use designated crosswalks. 

By preparing ahead of time and choosing a suitable venue, you can decrease the likelihood of falls for older family members or friends. No matter what, always be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to change plans and make accommodations. 

2)   Dressing Correctly

What you wear will help protect you from winter dangers this year. Many seniors may need help dressing appropriately for winter weather conditions; as you aid them, make sure to keep the following in mind to ensure they have a safe and positive experience outside the home. 

Warmth is key. The elderly are more likely to suffer from frostbite and hypothermia in extremely cold conditions. 

Make sure your older party members are equipped with a heavy winter coat, gloves, warm socks, a hat, and a scarf before heading outdoors. If temperatures dip extremely low, encourage them to cover any exposed skin to avoid frostbite, especially extremities. 

The shoes you wear will also help you stay warm and stable as you venture around for the holidays. Make sure your shoes are low-heeled and use rubber traction to help avoid slips. You may also consider using an artificial traction device on certain shoes to increase traction on icy surfaces. 

You may want to keep an oral thermometer on hand in the event that an elderly group member’s internal body temperature falls below 95 degrees, in which case you should stop what you are doing and seek immediate medical assistance.

3) Be Aware

Above all, being aware of elderly group members' needs and your surroundings stands as the best way to support older loved ones this holiday. Be a support for them if they need to climb stairs, be ready to slow down and walk in the back with them, and always respect their boundaries. 

If a loved one seems especially cold, always be ready to pull out the thermometer and check their temperature, and make sure to have extra clothing layers and blankets ready for them if they need to warm up quickly. Keeping these things in mind will help you have a fun and safe holiday. 

Let’s Help Seniors Celebrate in Asheville

Loyal Lifts is happy to arm you with tips and useful considerations as you navigate winter. Just because it is cold and snowy does not mean that seniors need to miss out on all the fun this season. 

Remember to ensure their clothing is appropriate for colder temperatures, and make sure destinations are accessible before finalizing plans. Also, do not forget, if you have transportation needs for someone with mobility struggles in Asheville and western North Carolina, your friends at Loyal Lifts are excited to help get you to and from all your holiday outings.

You can find out more about our transportation services on our website. We are always honored and excited to be a part of your family’s holiday travels, and this year will be no exception. We can not wait to celebrate holiday festivities with you! Contact us for more information about transportation for seniors and those who use wheelchairs.