The air is getting crisper and the leaves are starting to change color, fall is here! With the change of seasons comes the time for cold and flu season, which can be a major threat to senior’s livelihood. By following a few basics seniors can minimize their risks this autumn.
Fall Safety Tips for Seniors
Seniors can stay safe this fall by following our 5 tips:
Getting the flu vaccine each year at the end of October is recommended for seniors. Seniors are at a higher risk for complications with the flu, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections. The flu can also worsen any chronic health conditions that already exist. There are two types of flu shots designed for seniors, so ask a doctor which one is best.
2. Avoid Falls
It’s common for seniors to experience stiff joints in cooler temperatures. This makes it more difficult to move about, also the combination of it getting dark earlier, the ground wet, and falling leaves can create more slipping hazards.
Seniors can avoid these hazards by clearing their sidewalks and driveways of falling leaves. Also, inside the home they can illuminate their hallways to avoid tripping hazards. Sprinkling sand on ice sidewalks can help in creating better grip. Before going outside, warm up by doing some stretches to release tension.
3. Keep Warm
As you get older, your risk of suffering hypothermia goes up. Hypothermia can be a life-threatening condition that occurs when an individual’s body temperature drops below normal and remains low for a period of time.
Being over the age of 60, having health conditions like diabetes or hypothyroidism, and taking certain medications all make you more susceptible to the cold. You can develop hypothermia even after exposure to mild cold temperatures. Dress in layered, loose-fitting clothing. Dress warmly and wear a hat when going outside. Keep your indoor temperature at a minimum of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Moisturize Your Skin
Indoor air becomes arid thanks to household heating systems. With age, our skin gets thinner and more prone to dryness and tears that can lead to infections.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and eating soup. Using a humidifier indoors can go a long way toward putting some much-needed moisture back into the air. Also, make sure to help keep your skin from drying out with lotion or cream.
5. Watch Out for Fire
Check that electrical appliances like electrical blankets are in good condition without fraying cords. Space heaters are common sources of fires. Make sure they’re placed far away from flammable surfaces.
Autumn is an excellent time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, be sure to have working fire extinguishers in the kitchen and near any fireplaces.
(Article courtesy of The Victorian Assisted Living)
Kelly’s Retirement Homes are an Assisted Living Facility that honors and respects our residents and treats them with dignity. We provide the highest possible quality of compassionate care while ensuring each resident’s right to privacy and choice in their daily lives.
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