Winter is finally here! Although these fun flurries blanket our beautiful valley in a winter wonderland, freezing temperatures and winter storms can prove to be problematic for our elderly population. Here are some tips to stay safe and prepared during this time of year:
You know what they about Montana…“If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes!” Be it indoors or out, layering up is key when living in this beautiful yet unpredictable valley of ours. Start with a thin layer (tank top, short sleeve or thin long sleeve) and work your way up (sweaters, jackets, scarves and hats). Gloves and a hat are always a must when venturing into the great outdoors and don’t forget your trusty pair of non-skid shoes or boots!
No Slip n’ Slides
Roadways and walkways can become dangerous avenues for those in the elderly community and falls can be an often occurrence. To avoid these unfortunate incidents, enlist the help to keep your walkways clear of snow. Use ice melt to limit ice buildup from temperature fluctuations. Pull out those trusty pair of non-skid shoes or boots and wear them when you leave the house. Indoor falls can happen just as easily. Be sure to keep your entry ways and non-carpeted areas dry. Remove your wet shoes before entering the house and ask visitors to remove their shoes at the door. Put those bright Christmas socks or slippers with the no-skid rubber sole to good use by keeping your feet warm and your body in the upright position.
Indoor Safety Tips
Unfortunately, winter storms can cause unexpected power outages. To make sure you are not left in the dark, keep a flashlight and fresh batteries close by at all times. If you use a fireplace, be sure to use a protective screen to keep sparks from flying out. Maintain all smoke detectors by doing a monthly check and replacing the batteries each year. You may need to call a family member or caregiver for assistance during a power outage, so if you have a cell phone, keep it charged and use it only when necessary.
Stock Up on Supplies
When the weather gets back, instead of navigating dangerous roads, stock up ahead of time. Here’s a list of things to keep in your home during the winter months:
- Bottled water
- Canned goods and food that is easily prepared
- Battery operated radio
- Extra Batteries (for flashlights, radios, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors)
- Extra blankets
- A loud whistle or bell
- Ice melt
Phone a Friend
Simple daily tasks in the winter can often be a burden due to the weather. Reach out when you need assistance, contact family members, friends, neighbors, and Loyal Care, who can help with the following:
- Meal preparation and clean up
- Transportation for errand and escort services to appointments, shopping or community activities
- Assistance with bathing and personal care
- Respite relief
- Medication management
Stay safe out there!