Fall River Jewish Home

Winter Preparedness for Massachusetts Seniors

The cold, snowy winters that are common here in Massachusetts can be especially hazardous for our seniors. Everything from slippery sidewalks to power outages can put them at risk for illness and injury.

Here are 6 ways you can help your elderly loved ones stay safe:

  1. Keep Sidewalks Clear and Free from Ice. Slip and fall accidents can be deadly for seniors. These falls may cause injuries that include a broken hip, wrist fracture or head trauma. Complications from falls are a leading cause of death and permanent disability for adults over the age of 65.
  2. Make Certain they have Warm Winter Outerwear. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of the hypothermia deaths each year are for people over the age of 65. Help your senior loved one by making sure they have a warm coat, a hat that covers their ears, boots, warm socks, gloves and a scarf on when they leave their house.
  3. Balanced Nutrition is Important in the Winter. Seniors may be less inclined to leave the house to get groceries when the winter winds are blowing. That often leads to snacking on foods that aren’t as nutritious as an older adult needs. Vitamin D deficiencies are also more common in the winter when we are all stuck inside more. To help make it easier to meet their daily nutritional goals, stock their freezer with prepared meals or include their grocery shopping with yours.
  4. Have Heating Sources Checked for Safety. That includes the furnace, the carbon monoxide detector and any space heaters they use. Remember that all space heaters should be turned off and unplugged at night or when leaving the house.
  5. Schedule a Winter Tune-up for their Car.  Winter driving can be hazardous. Make sure your senior loved one has their car serviced before winter arrives. Checking the oil, tires, battery, wipers and fluids are important.
  6. Prepare for Power Outages. We all know a Massachusetts winter storm can lead to a power outage. Make sure your senior loved one’s house has flashlights, warm blankets and a battery-powered radio. Have a stockpile of non-perishable foods such as canned meats such as tuna or chicken, peanut butter, cereal, crackers, and granola bars. Bottle water is also important to keep on hand.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also has a variety of winter safety checklists you may want to download to learn more about winter storm preparedness.

We’re here to answer questions and help you make the best decision for care for you or your loved one. We invite you to reach out and talk with one of our care specialists at Fall River Jewish Home today! CALL 1.508.679.6172, where assistance is just a phone call away.

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