Advice Independent Living

Getting Ready For Old Man Winter

Park during winter

Try as we may, there is just no way of wishing winter away. Now that the leaves are sporting vivid colors and falling in preparation for the changing season, here are some refresher tips to keep you safe when the thermometer plunges below freezing:

Walkways should be a high priority. Make sure they are salted and well-lit to prevent falls. Make sure that your winter shoes or boots have plenty of traction. And, if you need a cane for assistance, consider changing out the tip.

Insulate by layering up! Hypothermia is prevalent during winter months and seniors are particularly at risk. That said, be prepared with plenty of layers; in fact, wear one more layer than you think you need. You can always shed a sweater, but there is nothing worse than being too cold. Slip on some mittens and don’t forget your hat as half of all body heat is lost through the head.

Never forget about eating healthy. Just because your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables aren’t in the market, that is no excuse not to eat healthy. Get plenty of vitamin D and protein by consuming foods like grains, cheeses, tuna, salmon and orange juice.

Take time for a car check now. While it’s still sweater weather, visit your local mechanic and get a tune-up on auto basics like oil, tires, battery, wipers and windshield wiper fluid. You will be glad you did when that first snowflake hits the ground.

Encourage neighbors to touch base with each other. Team up with a friend or family member and check on each other throughout the cold months. So often, we are tempted to stay under wraps and warm, but depression and isolation can really set in during the winter months. Make sure you are keeping in contact with the “outside world.”

Remember to stock up. If a snowstorm hits your area, you may not be able to get out for a few days.  Make sure you have an ample supply of bottled water to stay hydrated, and non-perishable food items to hold you through in a pinch, and a week’s supply of medicine is also a good idea.

Don’t let winter catch you off guard this season. Preparation is key.

Independent Living
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