Autumn is just on the horizon and it’s never too early to prepare for the hazards the changing weather can bring for seniors. Being proactive and prepared is the best way to avoid unnecessary issues. One of the biggest risks seniors face in autumn is slipping and falling.
Here are some ways to help keep the elderly safe and on two feet.
Pick up leaves– when leaves begin to fill the yard it’s time to pick them up on a regular basis. Dry leaves can slide under your feet and become slick when wet. Don’t forget to clean the gutters to protect the house as well.
Rainy day– Puddles and wet terrain are a hazard to those who are less sure on their feet. Wet surfaces can be particularly deceiving for those with poor vision. When possible reschedule outings if the forecast looks rainy.
Flu season– Unfortunately, the elderly have a much higher risk of contracting influenza than the rest of the population. To help ensure your loved one’s safety, schedule a flu shot for them and those who come into contact with them, such as caregivers and children. Other preventative practices include washing hands, and using hand sanitizer when in public.
HVAC inspection– Fall is the best time to have senior’s HVAC systems inspected and cleaned. Cold temperatures can be challenging for seniors. An inspection now can prevent a breakdown later, leaving them without heat.
Wearing layers– In the Upstate you might not to think about layers for a while, but temperatures effect the elderly more so. Bring an extra layer when leaving the house, just in case.
Emergency preparedness– All kinds of things can happen during an autumn storm: loss of power, heat, or phone service. Some things to do: store non-perishables and clean water, keep candles, fresh batteries, flashlights, extra blankets, and a battery-operated radio. Make a communication plan with family before a crisis occurs.
Your loved one’s caregiver will also become essential in these colder and slipperier months. A caregiver can make the difference to a senior’s safety when it comes to traversing winter terrain and to knowing if a client has contracted the flu. Also, include your caregiver into emergency and communication plans so everyone can be on the same page.