Winter can be a challenging time for anyone. Slippery sidewalks, icy road conditions, and cold weather can cause a wide range of injuries and illnesses, especially for older people. The following tips can be helpful for preventing many winter-time risks to older adults.
- Layer Up
Cold weather can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, as well as compromise your immune system and get sick. If you’re heading outdoors in very cold weather, be sure to cover all exposed skin. Wear a heavy coat, a hat, gloves, and a scarf.
- Get More Vitamin D
Because people spend more time indoors and may eat a smaller variety of foods, Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem. This can lead to many health concerns like cognitive decline, depression, and osteoporosis. Eating foods such as salmon, tuna and grains can make an important difference.
- Be Prepared for Power Outages
Winter storms can cause power outages. Make sure you have heavy blankets to keep warm, as well as flashlights, a battery-powered radio. Also keep a supply of non-perishable foods in case of longer power outages that can spoil the food in your refrigerator and freezer.
- Drive Safely
Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone, but can be especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive as often anymore and whose reflexes may be slower than they once were. In icy and snowy conditions, only drive if necessary.
- Be ready for icy conditions
Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slips and falls. These can result in major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations. For walking, be sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles. To protect yourself while driving, be sure to have your oil, tires, battery and wipers checked.
- Get a MASA Policy
A slip on ice, a car accident, a fall in the home during a blackout, and more could cause a need for a trip to the hospital. You might need emergency medical transportation – in which case you need Medical Air Services Association (MASA). MASA protects you from the expensive cost of ground and air ambulances. Most insurances and Medicare do not provide full coverage for these costs. Give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind this winter. ASBA makes joining MASA easy. You can even sign up online.