Being active is an important part of life and reaps many wonderful health benefits, especially for your senior. It not only keeps the body healthy, but keeps the mind and spirit healthy as well. Unfortunately, as winter begins to set upon the nation, that means there are now additional injuries that could cause more harm than the benefits created by being active. Knowing some of the dangers can help you, as a caregiver to an elderly parent, protect your parent from pain and damage caused by an outdoor injury.

Elder Care Ashland OH - Helping Your Senior Avoid Injury While Outside this Winter

Elder Care Ashland OH – Helping Your Senior Avoid Injury While Outside this Winter

Slips and Falls

Icy sidewalks, snow-packed walkways and large snowdrifts can all cause obstacles for your aging parent trying to get around his property. Taking the garbage out to the end of the driveway can become an obstacle course too treacherous to attempt. Fortunately, you can help reduce the chances of injury-causing slips and falls by helping your elderly parent take some precautions.

  1. Have someone responsible for clearing all walkways and driveways. Whether it’s by shoveling or using a snowblower, having someone like an elder care professional make sure this gets done before your parent ever heads out the door can help alleviate this obstacle.
  2. Keep your parent well-stocked with lots of salt for sidewalks. Either have yourself or another caregiver, like an elder care professional, put large bags of salt with scoopers in them by each entrance/exit to the home. Sidewalks and driveways closest to the home often develop ice patches due to snow melting off the home and pooling by doors and steps. Make sure these areas are salted often to prevent ice buildup and the possibility of a bad slip or fall from your elderly parent. You could ask your elderly care professional to sprinkle salt on trouble areas each time she comes to visit.
  3. Examine your parent’s footwear. The boots may still be warm but how do the treads look? If you are able, look at the bottom of each pair of winter boots and shoes your parent likes to wear. Looks for deep treads and no worn out, smooth spots that will easily slip out from under your parent if he hits a spot of ice. If new footwear is needed, either have yourself or your parent’s elder care provider bring your parent to the local shoe store to get new footwear for this winter.

Snow Removal Injuries

It’s winter. Snow is going to happen in many places. A common cause of heart attacks in elderly people is shoveling heavy snow. Shoveling can also be dangerous if your parent has problems with balance or suffers from osteoporosis. This winter make sure your elderly parent has snow removal support to reduce the risk of injury. It can be a neighborhood kid needing to earn a little extra cash, a reliable (and nearby) family member or an elder care professional hired for this task. It might be hard for your parent to wait for snow removal, but encourage him to wait for any outdoor activities until the snow is removed by your helper.

For your parents, it might feel like a loss of independence to have others performing tasks that they’ve done their entire lives, but remind them that by preventing injuries by letting others take care of these dangerous winter tasks, you’re actually helping them live with more freedom in the long-run.

Source:  https://www.healthinaging.org/tools-and-tips/tip-sheet-winter-safety-older-adults

If you are considering Elder Care Services in Ashland OH, call the caring staff at Central Star Home Health at (419) 610-2161.  Providing services for families in Mansfield, Lexington, Bellville, Crestline, Galion, Shelby, Ashland, Ontario and the surrounding areas.

LaVonne Clark, Branch Administrator
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