Winter can bring many healthcare challenges for older people, especially those with mobility issues or those who are homebound. Bill Marr, the owner of Hopkinton Home Care, offers these 5 tips for keeping your loved ones safe and healthy during the winter months.
1. Stock emergency resources in their homes. Emergency kits must be easily accessible and should include water, flashlight, batteries, radio, and blankets. Seniors should have at least a seven-day supply of prescription medications and a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water on hand.
2. Identify and eliminate fall risks. This is a huge issue for seniors and most do not know they are at risk for falls, especially during the winter. Often they will take off their wet boots when they get home and walk around the house in stockings, which often leads to slipping. Create slip-proof paths and make sure they wear shoes or slippers that grip. Keep driveways and walkways clear of snow.
3. Encourage them to stay active and engaged with others. Companionship is one of the primary services Hopkinton Home Care provides in the winter months. Many elderly feel lonely or inactive during this time of year but there are programs available to help and Hopkinton Home Care is a great resource to help get your loved ones there. Many libraries deliver books and movies. Churches offer a visitation program for volunteers who provide companionship to housebound parishioners. Contact your local senior center for information on upcoming community activities.
4. Keep a keen eye on their nutrition. A balanced diet becomes even more crucial during the winter when we are less active, at risk of catching colds and lacking vitamin D. Be sure your loved one is getting balanced meals that incorporate vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Keep extra food on hand in the freezer as well as bottled or canned fruit juices and non-fat milk powder. Meals on Wheels delivers affordable hot, nutritious foods daily.
5. Lastly, establish a plan for winter emergencies. If power is lost, do you and your elder know where they will go and what they will need? Have an emergency bag packed with a change of clothing and all medical and care necessities. Have a carrier ready in case pets need to be transported with them. Go to www.redcross.org to find shelters open in your area.
Try starting with this family communication plan: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Connect with Hopkinton Home Care today to help with your loved ones. Check out our services – We can help!
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- Phone: 508-544-4650