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Needless to say, it’s imperative that older adults are protected from the elements when they venture outdoors during the winter. It’s not just cold temperatures that are the issue. Slippery, snow-covered walkways also need to be watched out for. Naturally, taking extra special care to be safe is of the utmost importance for seniors when the winter weather hits.

Keep your elderly loved one hydrated.

All throughout the summertime, you probably receive a lot of advice about drinking water. And it’s all good advice too. Being hydrated is a key to overall health. But when weather conditions are such that you can become dehydrated, drinking water becomes increasingly important. Don’t assume that because the weather is cold, water isn’t as necessary. On AgingCare.com, Anne-Marie Botek reminds us how important it is for seniors to stay hydrated during winter.

“Seniors are especially prone to dehydration because they tend to eat and drink less than younger people, thus they consume less water,” she notes, “In general, people also feel less thirsty during the winter and are more prone to not drinking as much as they should. Make sure your elderly loved one is drinking consistently. Monitoring their water intake can be an easy way to guarantee they are getting enough fluids.”

Get your car serviced.

Winter maintenance for your car should not be underestimated. Firstly, invest in winter tires if you haven’t already. Taking chances with tires that provide less traction on cold and slippery surfaces is simply not worth it. Secondly, proper maintenance that will get your car winter-ready helps to ensure that your older family members are kept safe during any transport within your vehicle.

“Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone,” notes Andrea Lee on Care.com, “But it is especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive as often anymore or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits — or ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads.”

Watch every little step.

As we’re all aware, snow and ice make for very dangerous walking conditions. Especially if your elderly loved one battles with mobility issues, it’s best to keep him/her inside when the sidewalks become too slick. Be sure to salt your driveway and walkways and always provide assistance to your older adult if it’s absolutely necessary for him/her to venture outdoors.

“Sidewalks slick with ice and snow pose a serious falling hazard for an elderly person,” Botek reminds us, “Make sure that your loved one’s porch, driveway, sidewalk, etc. have been thoroughly salted and shovelled. If they are at all unsteady on their feet, it’s best to have someone else handle these tasks, like a neighbour or an outside service.”

Use a walker, rollator or wheelchair.

Protect your elderly loved one from slipping and falling this winter. Investing in a mobility solution such as a walker, rollator or wheelchair can go a long way in ensuring his/her safety. If you have any questions about the mobility solutions offered by Advantage Home Health Solutions, 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!