Winter is right around the corner! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the beautiful scenery and festivities.  But, it’s vital that we also consider winter safety, especially for our aged loved ones.  In winter, conditions are colder, icier, and more slippery.  These conditions pose a significant risk for everybody, but especially older populations.  In this blog, we’ll give a few simple safety tips that can help keep us all safer this season.


As we age, our fear of falling often increases. Unfortunately, this fear is justified. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injuries among older adults. In addition, icy and snowy conditions can make getting around dangerous. But before you decide to hibernate, here are some winter safety tips for fall prevention:

  • Ask or hire someone to maintain your walkway and driveway. Make sure all steps leading to your residence are in good repair and are free of icy build-up.
  • Wear boots or shoes with good tread to help you keep traction as you walk.
  • If you use a cane, consider replacing its tip with an ice pick-like attachment to maintain your stability should you encounter an icy patch outside.
  • Check the lighting in your entranceways. With shorter daylight hours, more of your activities may be occurring in the dark. Lighting with timers or sensors on your outdoor fixtures can be a valuable addition.


Since you are likely to be less active this time of year than in warm weather, it is essential to pay attention to your diet and hydration levels. Make sure to take any nutritional supplements your doctor may have prescribed. Due to less exposure to sunlight, you may experience a Vitamin D deficiency. You can counteract this lack by consuming foods rich in Vitamin D, such as milk, grains, tuna, or salmon.

We tend to drink more water in hot weather when we sweat, but we need to stay hydrated all year round. Keep a pitcher of fresh water handy throughout the day. Not only will it serve as a reminder to drink more fluids, but it is also an excellent way to keep track of how much you are drinking


Bitter cold temperatures can lead to hypothermia, which occurs when the body’s core temperature drops below 95 degrees. In severe hypothermia, the body temperature falls to 86 degrees or lower. Seniors are more at risk for hypothermia because their response to cold can be diminished by illnesses or diseases, as well as by certain medications.

Additionally, as we age, we tend to become less active, and we generate less body heat. According to the CDC, more than 50 percent of hypothermia-related deaths occur in people over 65. Warning signs of hypothermia include:

  • Excessive shivering
  • Cold, pale skin
  • Feelings of confusion or exhaustion
  • Weakness
  • Slowed respiration or heart rate

You can avoid hypothermia by keeping warm and dry! Don’t let your indoor temperature drop below 65 degrees. Dress in several layers for added warmth. Pay special attention to your extremities by wearing warm socks, gloves, and a hat when you go outdoors. In extreme temperatures, cover all exposed skin and place a scarf over your face and mouth. Remove wet clothing as soon as you can after returning home.

On The Road

Winter driving can be hazardous for all of us. Before venturing out in your car, take it to your service technician for “winterizing.” This service includes having the tires, antifreeze, windshield fluid, and blades checked and replaced if necessary. Stock your vehicle with a first aid kit and emergency supplies, including blankets, extra warm clothes, car battery booster cables, a windshield scraper, a small shovel, rock salt, a bag of sand or cat litter, drinking water, dried foods, a flashlight, and flares.


Program emergency contact numbers into your cell phone. If you live alone, consider an emergency-response system. These devices are worn around your neck or wrist at all times and can summon help when you need it most. In addition, they can provide valuable peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.

In Conclusion

Finally, trust your instincts. It’s hard to say no to an invitation or a gathering you have looked forward to attending, but your safety is more important. If the weather is unusually severe, it may be better to skip the event. On the other hand, don’t let typical winter weather keep you indoors unnecessarily. By following some simple precautions, you can enjoy this time of year just as much as you always have!  Winter safety isn’t as hard as we might think!


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