Winter Safety

It’s nearly winter here in Northeast Ohio and that means that snow and ice are coming. It’s during this time that we have to prepare ourselves for the cold temperatures and more importantly, we want our elderly loved ones to avoid injuring themselves or getting sick in the bad weather.
No matter where you live, these helpful tips can help you prevent months, if not years, of pain and suffering, brought on by snow and ice.
Stay Warm
Before you even leave your home, you should be prepared for the cold weather outside. Frostbite and hypothermia can come on quickly, especially for people who have limited feeling in their extremities, which can be brought on through diseases like diabetes. According to the CDC, more than half of all cases of hypothermia occur within people that are 65 years or older. To combat this, dress warmly. Layer your clothes and do not stay outside for too long of a period of time without finding shelter to warm your body temperature back up.
Avoid Slipping
Falling down in the winter months can happen to anyone. It is increasingly perilous for senior citizens because they lack the ability to heal as quickly as they did when they were younger. Part of this reason is due to stepping versus shuffling of the feet. Another way to lessen falls is to wear shoes with good tread and traction on them.  If your loved one is using a cane, make sure the tip is not worn or purchase a four-pronged cane tip for extra traction.
Watch Out For Power Outages
A power outage can occur at any time. Recently, Fairbanks, Alaska was hit with a freak ice storm where over 10,000 people were without power for two days. With temperatures dropping into single digits, there was plenty of reason to be worried.  Here in Ohio, our temperatures sometimes get that low and it is important that you have an emergency plan. Make sure that your loved one has access to flashlights and extra batteries, emergency blankets, and non-perishable food. Dress in layers and make sure you have communication with your loved ones.
Carbon Monoxide
Finally, one of the biggest problems during the winter months is carbon monoxide poisoning.  Senior citizens using a fireplace need to make sure that the flue is clean to avoid fires and carbon monoxide contamination.  It is always a wise decision to have fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in place to prevent unwanted tragedies.
If you have any questions or concerns about winter safety and senior citizens, please contact the KABB Law Offices at: 216.991.KABB (5222)