The leaves have officially changed colors and fallen off the trees. This means December is finally here and that winter is coming soon! To many this means cooler temperatures and the holiday season. But on the other hand, for Midwestern’s this means winter, black ice, snow storms, and frigid temperatures. There are many different things to take into consideration before winter arrives. It’s time to begin preparing for the cold, snowy days ahead. Preparing yourself and your home is critical for your well-being and health.
How can my loved one stay safe during the winter?
Ice, snow, and low temperatures can be hazardous for everyone. The winter season in the Midwest can be very dangerous, especially for older adults. Practicing winter safety will help minimize the risk of illness or injury during this season.
Although the colder months make staying inside very tempting, it’s important to get outside. It’s important to understand that when going outside, there are many precautions you should take. Ice is a big danger to anyone that steps on it. Once you’re on it, it can be hard to control your steps. According to Protected Tomorrows, you should stretch before going outside. Stretching helps warm up your muscles and can help keep you balanced. Make sure that you’re walking on sidewalks that have been salted and shoveled to reduce your risk of falling. Always walk in well lit areas to avoid stepping on ice.
In addition to ice, it’s crucial that you dress for the weather in the Midwest. Having a good pair of boots that keep your feet insulated, dry, and prevents slips. Along with having a good pair of boots, it’s also important to have a thick coat that keeps you warm. Make sure you have hats, gloves, scarves, and even hand warmers to ensure you won’t get cold!
Instead of going out in the cold, staying inside sounds like the perfect day! Preparing the inside of your home is just as important as preparing the outside. There are a few things that you should monitor when staying inside such as the thermostat and smoke alarms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests that you should check both once a month. If you’re wondering if you have cracks in your house, you’ll find out quickly in the winter! To fix this problem you can put cloth or plastic over the window to keep the cold temps from entering your house. Look into getting your air vents cleaned and put in fresh filters. If they are dirty, it restricts the warm air heating your house to flow as well as it should.
In case of an emergency…
Here are a few things that you can do right now to prepare for winter. The American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency shares a few tips:
- Always have a plan in place that has been thoroughly described to ensure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency
- Emergency supply of food and water (3-5 day supply of water and non-perishable food items)
- Flashlight and extra batteries on hand
- A way to contact/alert first responders that help is needed
- Medical kit on hand
- Cell phone (fully charged/ability to charge if power is lost)
- Access to cash
- Warm clothes, blankets, and winter gear
Tailoring your emergency plan to your individual needs is very important. It’s crucial to take precautionary measures to help reduce the chance of falling and hurting yourself. Understanding that every state has different emergency protocols is also important which helps you understand which plan you fall under. If the thought of being home alone during the winter is overwhelming for your loved one, moving into one of our Woodstone communities is the perfect solution. Contact us to discuss winter options if your loved one is looking for a safe community even just for the heart of winter. Your loved one will receive the same services and amenities as they would being a long-term resident. Moving into a safe community can help your loved one stay active and engaged. From a wide variety of life enrichment activities to well-balanced meals, your loved one will feel at home. Our maintenance staff will take care of everything to ensure that your loved one is safe and content all winter long. This option gives families peace of mind knowing that their loved one is taken care of this winter.