Feb 10, 2020

Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

Compassion Network Home Care is Alberta’s trusted in-home care agency. We provide the best level of home healthcare, caregiving, and nursing, all within the comforts of your home.

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As the snow falls and temperature drops, the changing seasons bring many challenges affecting seniors. Outdoor warmth, seasonal depression, travel, and hypothermia are all factors that pose a high amount of risk to those more vulnerable. There are many ways you can protect yourself and others from risks that freezing temperatures bring.

Winter Dress Tips for Seniors

Dressing for the cold becomes more important as a person becomes elderly as their bodies become more susceptible to cold weather. A Drop in body temperature not only feels uncomfortable but can make a person very sick turning into a dangerous situation. To avoid this, its best to be informed on how to dress for the cold weather.

  • Wearing 2 or 3 thinner layers of loose-fitting clothing is warmer than 1 layer
  • Wearing mittens keep hands warmer than gloves
  • Ensure your footwear had proper grip and tread (non-skid souls)
  • If using a cane, ensure the rubber tip has sufficient tread or a metal spike
  • Sunglasses can protect eyes against harmful snow glare
  • Prepare your or a loved one’s closet organizing their winter wardrobe

Mitigating Senior Seasonal Depression

Seasonal Depression Order (SAD) is prominent in winter months as the days are short, cold weather prevents long outdoor time, and you find yourself inside regularly. SAD can drain energy leaving you felt depressed, low of energy and tired. Symptoms of SAD are:

  • Feeling depressed
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating

To mitigate this, Compassion Network Home Care's Companionship matches you with a friendly companion to meet your social and emotional needs. Whether it be an outing to the mall or a friend to play board games with, a Compassion Companion will help in reducing the levels of SAD.

Learn more about Compassion Companionship and the many benefits.

Senior Travel Safety Tips

For many, a personal vehicle is the best means of transportation to avoid the harsh cold during the winter months. While a personal vehicle serves as a convenient transportation method, many situations such as accidents, car break downs, and dead batteries can leave someone stranded in an emergency situation. To increase your safety in these situations its best to always ensure your vehicle is stocked with an emergency kit consisting of the following items:

  • Charged cell Phone
  • Blankets
  • Candle
  • Booster Cables
  • Windshield Scraper
  • Candle
  • Water (In an insulated container)
  • Snacks
  • Flashlight

Seniors Signs of Hypothermia

Hypothermia can happen so fast that a person does not understand they’re becoming hypothermic. For seniors, when their body temperature lowers beneath 95°F many health problems such as heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, and more can occur. Understanding the signs of hypothermia is important in preventing personal harm or that of a loved one. When keeping an eye out for hypothermia, signs to look for are:

  • Pale or ashy skin
  • Feeling tired, sleepy, weak and confused
  • Problems walking
  • Slowed breathing or heart rate
  • Cold feet or hands

Call 9-1-1 Immediately if you think you or someone else has hypothermia.

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