December 12, 2012

The holiday season is upon us. With it comes not only good cheer, but also dangerous conditions. Winter weather is especially risky to seniors, commonly causing hypothermia, poor road conditions that lead to driving accidents, and injuries caused by falls

Read our winter safety tips checklist to make sure that you’re ready to handle the coming winter months.

1.    Listen to weather reports regularly and take note of bad weather on the horizon!  Preparation is the key to a safe winter.
2.    Have a battery-powered radio and extra batteries so you can still listen to the weather news during a storm.
3.    Stock up on fresh water and dried or canned food (make sure you have a working can opener). If you have pets, stock up on their food, too.
4.    Set up a buddy system with a neighbor who will check in on you in case of a storm.
5.    If you have a caregiver, make sure there is an emergency plan in place in case weather prevents your caregiver from getting to you.
6.    Find out if your local pharmacy and grocery store make deliveries. It’s best to stay inside as much as possible when conditions are bad.
7.    If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, think about getting a backup battery, or have a backup, such as a cane or walker.
8.    Have at least a seven-day supply of your medications with you. If you use oxygen, have an emergency supply to last three days or more.
9.    For all your medical equipment that requires a power source, check with your medical supply company about a backup power source.
10.    Keep walkways and steps around your home clear of debris to help prevent slips and falls.
11.    Use salt and sand on driveways and sidewalks in the winter to melt snow and improve traction, and shovel your walkways often. If you’re not comfortable taking these steps, ask a friend or neighbor to help.
12.    Make sure your gutters are clean to prevent leaks in your house.
13.    If you drive, winterize your car by checking antifreeze levels, tire tread and pressure, and windshield wipers. Stock your car with basic emergency supplies.
14.    Let someone know where you are going and when you will return.  Always take a cell phone with you when driving.
15.    If you need to go outside in cold weather, bundle up in layers of clothing, and wear a hat, scarf and gloves. Wear shoes with proper tread to avoid slips.

By taking the right precautionary steps, you can weather out the winter with ease.

Tags:  senior, safety, winter, san antonio