If you’re craving some time out of the house, Wauwatosa offers numerous indoor winter activities for seniors. From movies to live music, book clubs to card games, writer’s workshops to foreign language classes, there’s something for everyone. While these are extremely good for your physical and mental health, heading outside in the snow comes with risks. What’s more, winter’s frigid temperatures can put you at risk even when you’re at home. To ensure you stay safe this winter indoors and outdoors, take a minute to review this great cold-weather safety advice for seniors from the National Institute on Aging.
Snow Safety Tips
When you leave your home:
- Check the weather — Find out the current temperature and weather conditions as well as those for later in the day, and plan accordingly.
- Let someone know about your plans — Tell a friend, neighbor or family member where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
- Wear layers when going outside — Bundle up in several layers, including long underwear, long sleeve shirt, sweater or sweatshirt, coat, hat, scarf or balaclava, thick gloves, wool or heavy socks and boots or winter-appropriate shoes. As you warm up, you can remove a layer as needed.
- Wear shoes with non-skid soles — Choose shoes with good, solid traction but don’t create a tripping hazard. Be on the lookout for slippery areas.
- Stock your car with emergency supplies — You should include a cell phone and charger, flashlight with extra batteries, blanket, non-perishable food, bottled water, extra clothing, first aid kit, snow shovel and ice scraper among other items in your car winter survival kit, according to the National Weather Service.
- Consider alternate routes to avoid snow and icy conditions — Driving in snow? Stick to the main roads. They’re better maintained during bad weather and routinely traveled by others who can see and assist you in an emergency. Be careful on overpasses and bridges as they freeze first.
- Don’t stay outside for long — Being in the cold increases your chances of hypothermia.
When you’re at home:
- Always keep your indoor temperature above 68° — Living in a cold home can cause life-threatening hypothermia, a condition you won’t even know you have.
- Dress warmly on cold days — Even when you’re at home, you should wear warm clothes, socks and slippers to avoid hypothermia. Also, be sure to dress warmly for bed in case the power goes out overnight.
- Avoid heat loss through doors and windows — Close curtains and window blinds and place a rolled towel in front of all exterior doors to keep out drafts.
- Be careful with space heaters — If you use one, keep it away from anything that might catch fire such as magazines, newspapers, bedding, curtains and furniture. Never use a space heater with an extension cord and discard it immediately if the cord becomes frayed or shows signs of melting.
- Have your fireplace and HVAC system inspected annually to ensure they’re operating properly
- Ask for help clearing snow and ice off steps and walkways — Don’t risk a fall on ice and snow, especially if you live alone. If you do plan to shovel the snow, practice snow shoveling safety — dress in layers, take frequent breaks inside in the warmth and drink lots of water.
- Mop up melted snow, especially around entrances — Wet floors are a slip and fall hazard.
Consider the Advantages of a Senior Living Community
If you prefer to leave the snow shoveling, HVAC inspections, weather monitoring and other safety precautions to someone else, consider moving to a senior living community like Luther Manor in Wauwatosa. It’s easy to stay safe and active in winter at Luther Manor because our staff takes care of everything. Plus, you can enjoy a wide variety of amenities, programs and activities for seniors as well as stay connected to friends and neighbors without having to brave the cold outside.
With so many residential choices, you’re sure to find one that fits your lifestyle and needs. In addition to independent senior living, Luther Manor offers supportive living and assisted living, both of which provide additional services — from housekeeping and meals to medication management and other support — to make life easier.
You can feel good about choosing Luther Manor because our Wisconsin retirement community received the SeniorAdvisor.com Best of Senior Living 2021 award presented by A Place for Mom. The award recognizes senior living and home care providers that consistently receive high ratings and positive reviews from residents, families and visitors.
We invite you to learn more about how you can stay safe and active all winter long at Luther Manor. To schedule a visit, call us today at (414) 434-3880 or send us a note through the form below.