As we bid a reluctant farewell to the summer sunshine, it is time to turn our attention to the months ahead. While fall can bring many delights, it is important to remember the risks that the change in season can pose to seniors. Here are seven ways that you can keep senior loved ones safe this fall.
1. Prevent falls
Fall’s falling leaves can cause tripping hazards. Keep doorways, stairwells and walking passages clear of leaves and debris as they become slippery when wet.
Keep the floor clear of obstacles, such as piles of books or shoes.
Install bars beside the toilet and bath to prevent bathroom falls.
Install strong lightbulbs in every room and hallway.
Visit the optician to check your loved one’s eyeglass prescription.
2. Fire hazards
Check the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your loved one’s home.
Keep a fire blanket and/or fire extinguisher near fire hazard areas, such as the kitchen and sitting room (be sure to go through the instructions).
Check the condition of all electrical appliances. Be vigilant with electric blankets.
Keep space heaters away from flammable surfaces.
Have fireplaces and chimneys swept annually to prevent chimney fires.
3. Check windows
All windows should open and close easily. Seniors should have access to fresh air and be able to keep out the cold.
4. Keep warm
Reorder the senior person’s wardrobe when the temperature begins to drop. They should have easy access to warm clothes but also leave a few light bits out for warmer days.
Maintain a consistently warm temperature in the home and seal off any draft areas. Have a certified professional service the central heating system to prevent leaks or other dangers.
5. Flu vaccine
The flu virus can cause severe illness in vulnerable groups such as seniors. It is advised that vulnerable groups, such as seniors, have the flu vaccine every year to prevent serious illness.
6. Staying hydrated
It is important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated when the indoor heating is on.
Staying hydrated will also prevent skin drying out. Seniors should also regularly apply moisturizer.
Visiting your elderly loved ones or neighbours is vital when the weather changes. Check in to see how they are managing and ensure there are no health or safety hazards. If there are particularly adverse weather conditions, ring them to make sure they are safe. Regular calls and visits are the best ways to prevent loneliness.