While the holiday season brings happiness and good cheer, it also means winter is upon us. For many parts of the country the winter months mean cold and harsh weather – often leading to dangerous conditions in and around the home. It is especially important for families and caregivers to keep a watchful eye on seniors to make sure they are staying as safe as possible. For caregivers who use ClearCare Online’s homecare system and homecare software, setting safety reminders is easier than ever before.
Staying Safe During Inclement Weather
Winter often means snow and sleet, which leads to slippery sidewalks and roads. Here are a few tips to help keep seniors from falling:
- Sprinkle salt or sand on sidewalks, steps, and driveways
- Leave the shoveling to family members, neighbors, or caregivers
- Lay down extra rugs or mats on porches and entryways to soak up snow that could lead to slippery puddles
- Cancel or reschedule appointments when conditions are unsafe for driving
The winter months also pose a risk for hypothermia, especially for seniors who produce less body heat. Certain conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, can limit the body’s response to cold, leaving seniors even more vulnerable. Caregivers can make note in their homecare software or homecare system if their senior clients have such conditions so that they can better prepare for winter weather.
To prevent the possibility of hypothermia, seniors should:
- Keep their home sufficiently warm
- Dress warmly and wear a hat, scarf, gloves, and winter boots
- Drink a warm beverage before and after being outside to regulate body temperature
- Limit time outdoors, especially on windy days or when temps drop below zero
Home Heating Safety
Seniors must beware of the dangers inherent to winter weather, such as house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Caregivers can use ClearCare Online’s homecare system and homecare software to set tasks for the following:
- Have the furnace inspected to be sure it is in safe operating condition
- Check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in areas where fuels are being burned
- Have the chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned as necessary
- Keep all space heaters at least three feet from furniture and curtains
When severe weather is in the forecast, families and caregivers would do well to make preparations that will allow seniors to stay at home, such as stocking the pantry and refrigerator. Caregivers can use their homecare software to take inventory of what else may be needed, such as bottled water or extra batteries. Communicating plans with family members is easy using ClearCare Online’s web-based homecare system.
ClearCare Online is devoted to helping seniors safe and healthy and their homes throughout every season. Our innovative homecare system and homecare software gives caregivers the tools they need to provide superior care, while providing real-time updates to family members. For more information on keeping seniors safe this winter, check out our Holiday Safety blog post.