5 Essential Winter Safety Tips for Seniors
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5 Essential Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

December 21, 2020
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A guide to staying safe and protecting your family during the winter months with the Rescu App

When the temperature drops, inclement weather moves in, and hazardous conditions develop. As a result, seniors become more susceptible to falls, injuries, and accidents. Unfortunately, winter weather and increased call volume can add to the amount of time it takes first responders to reach you when an accident occurs. 

Delays are one of the many factors Paul Piscatelli, the founder of Rescu, had in mind when he started sketching out ideas for the Rescu App in 2015.

One day, Paul became riddled with severe stomach pain while in his home, and it took an entire 30 minutes for help to arrive. While in agonizing pain, he had to answer a series of questions from the dispatcher, which led to the lengthy delay. But delays can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons.

Thankfully, Paul’s emergency wasn’t life-threatening, but it very well could have been. That’s exactly what inspired him to create the Rescu App, a medical alert system that provides you with the fastest way to get help. 

The best way to prevent injury is to take precautionary steps to keep you and your loved ones safe. Whether you have an elderly loved one living alone or with underlying health conditions, it’s crucial to know how to keep them secure during the winter months. 

Let’s take a look at five ways to keep your loved one safe this winter and how having a senior alert system can help in the event of an emergency.

1. Avoid Slips & Falls Outside

Researchers have found a direct correlation between winter weather and fall-related injuries. Freezing rain, ice, and snowstorms make it easy to slip and fall.

Whenever they go outside, make sure your loved one wears non-slip shoes with good traction. They should also avoid stepping on areas that look wet, slippery, or snow-covered. If possible, they should remain indoors until the walkway is clear or they have someone to help them to their vehicle or destination.

When they go back inside, their shoes may be wet and slippery, so make sure they remove them to prevent falling.

If they fall outside in the cold and can’t get up, having a senior alert system will get them help before they develop frostbite or hypothermia.

2. Dress Appropriately for Cold Weather & Stay Warm Indoors

Staying outside in the cold for too long or living in a cold home can put seniors at risk for hypothermia. If an elderly person’s body temperature drops below 95°F, hypothermia occurs, and the person may sustain liver or kidney damage, or even worse, suffer from a heart attack.

Dressing appropriately for the cold is essential to keep your loved one safe during the winter. They should have enough layers to take them off if they get too warm and put them back on if they get too cold. It’s always better to have the extra layers and not need them than to need them and not have them.

They should also keep their home at a warm yet comfortable temperature. We suggest setting your heat between 70°F and 74°F to stay warm while indoors. Keep in mind that indoor temperatures below 65°F may be too cold for seniors.

Even if they take all of these precautions to stay warm, accidents happen! If the electricity goes out in the middle of the night and they wake up freezing or if their car breaks down and they’re unprepared for the cold, having the Rescu App will connect them with the help they need.

3. Protection From Getting Sick

Due to the lack of humidity in the winter, cold and flu viruses live for much longer and are easily transmissible. Both influenza and COVID-19 are in full-swing this winter – and the elderly are at higher risk of severe complications from both illnesses. As a result, seniors need to protect themselves from getting sick.

This winter, taking extra safety precautions like wearing a mask, washing their hands often, and avoiding large gatherings can help keep your loved one safe from illness. Limiting holiday celebrations to people in your household and visiting with distant family and friends virtually will help too.

If they do get sick, we sincerely hope their symptoms are minor. However, having a medical alert system at their fingertips can come in handy if they begin experiencing severe or life-threatening symptoms.

4. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If your loved one uses lanterns, gas heaters, or a fireplace to heat their home during the winter, proper ventilation is key to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. As a tasteless, odorless gas, carbon monoxide can strike without warning, which is why it’s crucial to check the batteries on all carbon monoxide detectors and practice basic carbon monoxide safety.

In addition to checking and replacing the batteries in their carbon monoxide detector, they should also have their fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned every year. If they use a kerosene stove or lantern, ensure they crack a window and keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.

In the unfortunate event that they begin experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headache, dizziness, confusion, or upset stomach, they can get help fast with a medical alert system on hand.

5. Get the Car Ready for Winter Weather

Driving in ice, snow, or sleet is dangerous for anyone. It is particularly risky for seniors who may have slower reflexes. If possible, your elderly loved one should avoid driving during inclement weather altogether.

It’s also a good idea for them to get their vehicle serviced before winter comes. Having a mechanic check the oil, tires, tread, brakes, and wipers on their car can make a huge difference in winter road safety.

If they can’t avoid driving during the winter, accidents can happen when you least expect them. Fortunately, with the Rescu App, help is only two taps away.

Rescu is the Ultimate Winter Safety App for Seniors

It isn’t always easy for seniors to ask for help. After all, they want to live independently and healthily for as long as possible. But it’s essential to recognize that it’s okay to ask for help if they need it.

Luckily, the Rescu App makes asking for help easier than ever before. By combining the app with these safety tips, you can keep your loved one safe and healthy in the chilly winter months.

BE PREPARED

Protect the people you care for