Winter and Its Effect on Seniors

January 9, 2015

As we prep our home for the cold winter months ahead, we need to remind ourselves that our older loved ones need an additional hand. Whether you are a plane ride away or only a mile apart, Granny NANNIES specializes in the assisted living of aging seniors and has the expertise, compassion and patience to keep your loved one safe and happy. The following blog expands on problems seniors may experience in the winter months and how you can combat them.

Outside the Home

When leaving the house, seniors should take several precautions. These include dressing for warmth and preparing for icy walkways. Your loved one should have jackets, gloves and layerable clothing. It is also important that their shoes have non-skid soles.

When returning from an outing, remind your elder not to take their shoes off at the door. This is unknowingly a leading cause of falls as their socks or stockings have less traction and grip, resulting in a more slippery walk. Even so, accidents are always possible. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Home Health Aides (HHAs) can make sure that slipping and falling aren’t likely with round-the-clock or intermittent accident prevention care.

Inside the Home

To keep your loved one safe and comfortable inside, ensure their heater is turned on when need be. Older individuals are at risk of developing dehydration and hypothermia in colder weather. Turning off the heater though can oftentimes become an oversight. Heaters, electric blankets, teapots and space heaters are leading causes of house fires. HHAs and CNAs are available to help in such situations when reminders are needed.

Having focused on the importance of keeping a warm home, checking detectors and safety tools becomes essential. In the event that something does catch fire, ensure the carbon dioxide and fire alarms work and have fresh batteries and that fire extinguishers are operable and in an easy-to-reach location. Having a Granny NANNIES caregiver around to help with light housekeeping duties like these can eliminate your worry and alleviate any concerns about your loved one’s independent living.

While “winter-proofing” a residence, stocking up on any first aid kits, necessary medications and food storage isn’t a bad idea. Emergency kits should include water, batteries, blankets, a flashlight and a radio. They should also be prepared with seven days of medication and three days (minimum) of non-perishable food. A home caregiver will assist your loved one with any errands they may need.

With apprehension about winter driving and slippery falls, loved ones may be less inclined to leave their warm house. This can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. Social isolation can have a detrimental effect on health and quality of life.

CNAs and HHAs can keep your loved one in high spirits by offering companionship and taking them to various recreational activities.

Granny NANNIES is a licensed nursing agency that specializes in providing tailored custodial and daily living care for seniors and individuals with special needs, no matter the physical limitations. Licensed since 1990, Granny NANNIES caregivers are certified nurse assistants and home health aides (CAN/HHA) who undergo reference checks, physicals, criminal background checks and mandatory in-service training.

Granny NANNIES is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, with 35 offices in Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas.