Winter weather can make life more difficult for everybody, slippery roads and pavements cause thousands of accidents every year. The dangers are particularly prominent for the older generation. Read below to discover a range of tips that we suggest for ensuring their safety.

Avoid slippery surfaces

It’s easy to slip on icy surfaces, they can cause a whole host of injuries from wrist and hip fractures to head and neck injuries. Younger people are likely to recover quicker from falls in the bad weather and often don’t occur such traumatic injuries. With a lot of older people having existing health problems, slips and falls can cause them to deteriorate quicker.

Try and make sure that elderly people don’t have to risk walking in the snow and ice. Get their cupboards and freezer stocked up early and make sure that they aren’t going to run out of medication when the weather gets bad. Ensure that shoes have a good grip and try to not leave the house first thing in the morning when snow and ice is worse. When you get inside, take your shoes off immediately to avoid slipping over on floors. If you use a walking stick, ensure that the tip is replaced in time for the bad weather.

Dress for the weather

Frostbite and hypothermia are a direct result of the cold weather. Hypothermia related deaths are made up mainly of those over 65. Ensure that indoor temperatures don’t get too low. Dress in plenty of layers and make sure that you’re wearing thick socks, a warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves.

Make sure all of your exposed skin is covered, especially your head, hands and chest. If your body temperature goes below 35 C then get medical treatment immediately.

Beat winter depression

The need to stay inside during the winter months can cause isolation and loneliness, especially in older people who live alone or away from their family. As family members, check on the elderly people in your life as much as you can. Even just a phone call can break up the feelings that can occur. Arrange for neighbours and friends to check in if you aren’t able to.

Review the vehicles

For everybody, driving in the winter is dangerous. For old people who perhaps don’t drive as often, this can be heightened. Their reactions slow down and skids and slips can be fatal. Arrange for the car to be serviced before winter hits to ensure it’s as safe as possible. Ensure your breakdown cover is in date and let people know when you’re driving.

We advise only driving when completely necessary during the winter weather.

Get ready for power cuts

Winter often leads to power cuts and boilers breaking down. Make sure you have torches (and that they work). Stock up on warm clothes and blankets. Although we do recommend stocking the freezer up for winter, remember that power cuts can ruin your frozen food. A complete winter essential is a full cupboard/pantry. Stock up on foods that cant be ruined. You can read our Favourite Winter Meals here.

Get the right nutrients

When you’re spending time indoors, you’re likely to snack on sugary and fatty foods. With this lack of variety in your diet you can expect nutritional deficiencies. Dieticians recommend eating foods high in vitamins and minerals – particularly Vitamin D. Get plenty of milk, grains, proteins, fruit and vegetables.

Keep the house safe

Whilst it’s essential to keep warm, fireplaces, gas heaters and lanterns can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Check that the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors are working – if you need to buy a new one then do so.

If you need help through the winter months, don’t hesitate to ask for help. From shopping to a bit of company, people will always be happy to help you out.

If you need your premises clearing or gritting, don’t put off asking people. Give us a call today if you need somebody to clear and maintain your surfaces during the winter months.

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