Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

Winter can be a beautiful season. Especially for those who enjoy snow, cooler temperatures, and sitting by a fireplace. However, from slippery sidewalks to chilly houses, even the most beautiful seasons can come with some challenges, especially for seniors.

To help you keep the seniors in your life safe, secure, and happy during the winter months, Mr. HandymanⓇ has some winter safety tips for seniors to help everyone enjoy the season with confidence.

Layering Is the Key to Staying Warm

Whether you’re inside or out, fending off colder temperatures isn’t just about warmer clothing. Layering your clothing will help keep you warm and cozy. If you get too warm, simply remove a layer. 

Sweatshirts, coats, gloves, scarves, and hats are essential when heading outdoors during the winter months. Sure, they look fashionable, but they also play an important role in maintaining a healthy core temperature. This is especially important when discussing winter safety for seniors. Older family members may have a harder time maintaining a consistent core temperature, which ideally should be 98.6° Fahrenheit. Laying clothing helps seniors better regulate their core temperature by removing layers when it gets too high and adding layers when it’s too low.    

Choose Proper Footwear for Safe Travels

Many places in the United States and Canada see snow and ice in the winter. While beautiful when it’s falling, snow can provide a lot of safety challenges for everyone, especially seniors. 

One of the most useful pieces of advice for the elderly in cold weather is to wear proper footwear for outdoor conditions. Insulated boots are the best option for keeping feet warm and dry while providing the right amount of traction to make navigating slippery surfaces more secure. In addition to the proper footwear, make sure all walkways and driveways are cleared of ice and snow to ensure safe passage for seniors. 

Keep Your Home Warm and Comfy

A big part of cold weather safety for older adults is making sure their home heating system is well-maintained. When the temperatures drop below freezing, the last thing you need is a heating emergency!

To avoid heating issues, call in the pros to perform a full inspection and the necessary maintenance before the lower temperatures arrive. Being proactive about your heating systems will help protect you from costly emergency repairs and dangerously low temperatures.

Prevent Slips and Falls

Slip and fall accidents in and around a home are common throughout the year, but especially during the winter months when ice and/or snow can make conditions hazardous. That’s why so many winter safety tips for seniors focus on preventing them.

When you know that snow or ice is in the forecast, be proactive. Remove snow as quickly as possible and use salt or a deicing agent on sidewalks, walkways, and driveways to reduce the amount of ice so these hard surfaces are less hazardous to walk on. Having a plan to clear ice and snow from driveways and sidewalks as soon as you can is a great way to ensure everyone’s safety. If you or someone in your family has health or mobility concerns, ask your local handyman if they provide snow and ice removal services.

Take Precautions When Driving in the Winter

Winter weather makes driving more difficult. When it comes to driving, the best cold weather advice for the elderly is to stay off of the roads, especially if snow and ice are falling heavily or have already accumulated on the roadways. Try to complete errands and appointments before the storm starts, or arrange to have things delivered to your home instead.

If staying off the road completely is not an option, make sure your vehicle is ready for travel in adverse conditions! Always bring your cell phone and stock your car with supplies such as blankets, some water and snacks, a first aid kit, windshield scraper, extra clothes, and a portable battery charger. Keep up with your car maintenance by checking things like your windshield wipers, tires, and antifreeze levels on a regular basis.

Maintain Good Nutrition and Hydration

While some winter safety tips for seniors are obvious, others are not. For example, a well-balanced diet is essential, especially during the winter months when it gets colder and darker sooner. The colder, shorter days mean we spend more time indoors, which makes it even more important to add calcium and vitamin D-rich foods such as leafy greens, dairy products, and egg yolks to our diet.

Staying well-hydrated is also important, especially when the indoor and outdoor air is drier.  Consuming fluids such as alcohol, soda, or other drinks high in caffeine makes it harder to regulate your body and maintain a consistent core temperature. Staying hydrated with water, which is your best option, will help maintain and regulate body functions. 

Keep Your Home Well-Maintained

A big part of cold weather safety for older adults is making sure that their home is well-maintained and well-stocked with things like water and canned foods. In case weather conditions prevent them from leaving their home, having these essential items on hand will make the time spent confined indoors more bearable. 

When it comes to ensuring your home is properly maintained, Mr. Handyman is ready to help. Our team of local, experienced pros will make sure your home is ready for the colder weather. We can repair or replace old windows and doors, and add weather stripping or insulation to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. And since all our work is backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™, you know the job will be done right the first time. Don’t wait for Mr. Winter to invade your home, request service from Mr. Handyman today!