Like it or not, old man winter is making his way to Michigan. For older adults in colder climates like ours, winter creates additional risk factors. The aging experts from the Heritage Senior Communities offer these 3 winter safety reminders for seniors in Michigan:
Home Heating Sources
Rarely does a winter pass in Michigan that we don’t we hear about a family who loses their home or even their lives because of problems stemming from a heating source. Older adults that live on a fixed income may try to cut expenses and that makes them even more vulnerable.
- Be sure your aging loved one has their furnace inspected each year in the early fall.
- You also want to be certain their smoke detector is working and has good batteries.
- A carbon monoxide detector is a must in all homes.
- Space heaters can be a hazard. While they are great for warming up drafty rooms, fire safety experts say nothing should be placed within three feet of a space heater. Also make sure the heater has an automatic off in case it tips over.
Winter can be tough on our vehicles. If the older adult in your life is still driving, remind them to schedule a winter tune-up. Specifically ask them to check tires and tire pressure, window wipers, and the battery. Don’t forget anti-freeze and wiper fluid.
Icy walkways and porches create fall risks for seniors in the winter. If a landscape service to clear sidewalks is out of the budget, there are a few ways to help keep seniors safe:
- Non-skid shoes and boots are a must. You can even add non-skids pads to your loved one’s everyday shoes and boots.
- If your older loved one still shovels their own walkways, consider investing in a shovel on a wheel. Sounds strange but it not only helps to maintain balance while shoveling, it can also prevent back strain.
- Call your local agency on aging. Many have budget-friendly programs to help seniors with snow removal.
Are you a Michigan caregiver for a senior loved one who lives alone?
What is your biggest worry for them in the winter months?