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Winter Safety Tips for the Elderly

With the cold weather upon us, it’s important to learn the winter safety tips that will be essential when caring for your senior loved one. The risk of falling on ice, the challenge to stay warm, and the prevalence of serious illnesses make this time of the year especially difficult for your loved one. So, how can you do your part to ensure their safety in the coming months?

Essential winter safety tips for the elderly include:

Falls.

The risk of falling and causing bodily damage is highest for the elderly in the winter. This is mostly due to slick walk ways, however it’s important to keep in mind snow covered boots will leave a slick surface when walking into a home. Make sure your loved one’s sidewalks and driveways are shoveled and salt is spread.

Driving.

Even when the roads don’t appear icy they still may be slick. For this reason, it’s best to keep your loved one’s driving to a minimum. Groceries and medication should be arranged to be picked up for them.

Sickness.

Certain sicknesses are more prevalent when the temperatures drop. The elderly have lower circulation, so their bodies have a harder time staying warm which may cause hypothermia. Make sure your loved one has received the proper shots and they dress in the proper layers to keep warm.

Seasonal Affective Disorder or Sundowning.

The change in the season can cause a drop in the mood, this is especially true for seniors who suffer from a form of dementia. Seasonal Affective Disorder or Sundowners Syndrome, are conditions in which the change in the weather and hours of sunshine due to daylight saving time and seasonal change causes significant depression, anger, confusion, and even memory loss during the evening. It’s important to be aware of such symptoms and pinpoint the issue.

Isolation.

While it’s essential for the elderly to stay inside during the bitter cold times, they do not need to be alone. Hire a home care specialist to keep your loved one company and provide care to keep them safe and warm. Contact Comprehensive Home Care here or call 704.333.5214 to see how we can provide support during the winter months.

Preparing your Senior Loved One for Flu Season

When the weather starts to cool down we know the flu season is coming. Getting the flu is tough at any age; however, for some the flu can cause horrible complications. The flu in the elderly, for example, can lead to severe, life-threatening conditions. So, it’s essential to take extra steps and put preventative measures in place now.

In order to protect your senior loved ones against the flu keep the following in mind:

Flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine is highly recommended especially for older adults; caregivers should also receive the vaccine to add an extra layer of prevention. Keep in mind seniors require a higher dose of the vaccine, a physician can recommend the best dosage.

Complications.

Seniors who develop the flu are at risk of developing further complications, some may even require hospitalization. Watch for the symptoms of bronchitis which may lead to pneumonia. The flu may also worsen any existing conditions such as asthma or a heart disease.

Hygiene.

The flu is highly contagious so just washing hands regularly isn’t enough. Disinfecting the surfaces of the home, keeping hands off the face especially in public, and keeping away from anyone who is sick is essential.

Medication.

Always check with a doctor before adding any additional medication, as the drugs may have negative interactions.

Comprehensive Home Care is here to provide additional tips and support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to see how we can help this flu season. Call us at 704.333.5214 or contact us here.