Practical Ways for Seniors to be Prepared in the Home this Winter
The number of senior citizens in the United States is continually on the increase and currently stands at more than 13% of the overall population. It is predicted to increase to more than 20% by 2050. With this in mind, what should we do to keep elderly people safe and warm during the winter? As the days become shorter, winter will soon be upon us and with it come all the challenges that cold weather brings about. This time of the year can pose a serious risk to both the health and well-being of an elderly person if necessary precautions are not taken. Whether you’re one of these seniors, a family member or a volunteer in a hospice, there is plenty you can do to limit any safety issues in preparation for the upcoming season.
Modify your home
With an estimated 12 million older adults being able to manage on their own without any help, it makes sense to make small alterations to make a home more comfortable and accessible, particularly if there are mobility issues. These might include adding design features throughout the rooms of a home. Is moving around in a home easy, and are the vital things needed accessible? Smaller modifications such as hand-held showers, grab bars or even moving furniture or a rug can have a significant impact on the quality of daily life.
Call in professional help
Getting ready prior to winter is one of the most important things that can be done to avoid any potential threats before they arrive. One way of combating this is to call on help from a local care home or hospice. Most people will prefer to stay in their own homes where they are in familiar surroundings, even if they are severely ill. Professionally trained people from these types of centers can offer varying degrees of palliative care depending on the circumstances and independence of an individual. Choosing this type of care, whether it might be for a few hours a day or overnight, can mean peace of mind for all concerned, particularly during the cold, winter months where care is often most needed.
Create a support system
Given that the winter weather prevents us from being outside much of the time, it’s all too easy to feel isolated and alone but there are ways to combat the winter blues. Arrange for caregivers, neighbors and any family members to come at different times so a social schedule is spread out. Your local hospice can often arrange transport to visit a center to engage with other visitors for activities and hobbies to do together. For other practical solutions to staying safe, think about ordering groceries for delivery and have a medical alert system so someone can respond to any emergency situations.
The combination of making these preparations for the cold season and having professionals on hand will help to keep spirits high and stay comfortable inside a winter home.