Early snowfall and blizzards, oh my! As Michiganders brave an early winter, the need to keep our elderly loved ones safe becomes even more apparent. In our special three-part blog series, we have been examining ways to do just that (you can read Part One here and Part Two here). In our third and final installment of this series, we offer tips on how to keep your elderly loved one healthy as the snow falls.
Make sure your elderly loved one has an ample supply of their medications. In the event of a weather emergency, driving to a doctor’s office or pharmacy could become dangerous or even impossible. This could leave your loved one without their important medicines for a day or even more. Similarly, if your loved one picks up their prescriptions from a pharmacy that is far away, see if they can switch to a closer location. A shorter drive is always better, especially during inclement weather. Washtenaw County has many pharmacy options, so make sure your loved one is not driving any more than they have to for their prescriptions.
Our elderly loved ones are especially susceptible to hypothermia, as their bodies produce less heat than younger bodies. This could lead to a dangerous drop in body temperature. To prevent this, consider the following precautions-
- Wear several layers of loose-fitting (but warm) clothing. Tight clothing can constrict blood flow, which is especially dangerous for seniors.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol; alcohol can actually decrease bodily temperatures.
- Stay indoors.
- Make sure your loved one is eating enough to maintain their normal body weight- body fat is essential for keeping the body warm.
The signs of hypothermia include sleepiness, confusion, stiffness in the limbs, and loss of control of bodily movements. For more information on hypothermia, click here to read Hypothermia: A Cold Weather Hazard by the National Institute on Aging.
If you need any assistance keeping your elderly loved one safe this holiday season, Contact Care Response today, and put Ann Arbor’s choice for home health care to work for you! Thank you for reading!