The calendar claims that it’s still the summertime until September 22nd. However, here in Calgary, we’re already experiencing the cold temperatures associated with the autumn season. It’s no secret that colder weather impacts the health of all who endure it. However, infections that bring on cold and flu symptoms are a lot more likely to occur in members of our elderly population. That is, of course, unless a few important precautions are taken.
Here are three steps to keeping seniors safe all autumn long:
1. Always dress for the weather.
Admittedly, this piece of advice probably deserves to go into the “obvious” pile. Nevertheless, it’s an important reminder to provide. While the autumn weather often toys with us – warm days interchanged with chilly days – it’s wise to always have a jacket on hand. Preventing the cold temperatures from inducing cold and flu symptoms is a hugely important task of elderly individuals.
“Just as in the summer, when going from extreme outdoor heat to the chill of the air conditioning can be dangerous for seniors, so too can going from the lower outdoor temperatures into a building blasting heat,” explains Leo LaGrotte of Life Settlement Advisors, “Dressing in layers means you can easily remove one or two items of clothing and gradually adjust to new temperatures so as to prevent fainting or dizziness.”
2. Be on the lookout for tripping hazards.
You may not assume that tripping hazards are a concern that is autumn-based. And you’d be right. Naturally, it’s important to take measures to prevent slips and falls all year round. However, it’s important to point out that with colder weather, an elderly individual is a lot more likely to experience stiffer joints. Of course, this can make it more difficult to maintain balance. Susie Slack of Medical Alert System Reviews advises older people to be on high alert for tripping hazards during the fall season.
“Not only might it be a bit harder to move around, but it gets dark out early, the ground is often wet or frozen, and fallen leaves create slipping hazards or even cover up hazardous rocks that you can trip on,” she details, “Make sure leaves are cleared from sidewalks and driveways on your property and that all walkways are illuminated to reduce your chances of a fall. Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy sidewalks. Stretch before going outside to warm up stiff muscles.”
3. Prepare for emergency situations.
Although this piece of advice belongs in the “year round” category, it’s important to be mindful of the potential emergency situations that autumn weather conditions can present. As LaGrotte reminds us, changing weather throughout the fall can involve storms than cause power outages. Preparing for such situations is of vital importance.
“Take care to stock up on easy to prepare food as well as bottled water so that you’re ready if the power goes out,” he advises, “Other items to consider are Sterno, candles, batteries, flashlights, and extra blankets.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we place the health and safety of seniors at the top of our priority list. For information about the various mobility solutions we offer, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!