Winter Safety Tips for the Elderly

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance?

(3 minute read)

Winter safety is an essential precaution for everyone. According to the CDC, winter’s cold weather kills twice as many people as summer heat. The same article shares that a surprising number of winter weather deaths are in places like the rural West, where it isn’t often believed the cold gets bad enough to be fatal. This is one situation where knowledge is power. Here’s what you need to know to stay healthy and safe until spring, and keep your elderly loved ones protected.

Keep Warm Inside and Out

You might think you need to be outside in the elements to freeze to death or get frostbite, but these conditions can set in even when you feel safe indoors. Hypothermia can set in at temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the weather conditions. Poor nutrition and certain medicines can also increase risk for hypothermia. Frostbite can only occur at freezing temperatures, but extremities like hands, feet, and the face and ears are very vulnerable to frostbite in older people.

The CDC recommends dressing in at least three layers to keep warm and protected. Waterproof shoes, mittens, hats, and scarves are also essential outdoors to protect your extremities. At home, make sure to keep the heat on and try to keep a backup heat source like a space heater too.

Plan for Snow Removal

Another winter safety tip for retirees and elderly individuals is to let someone else handle the snow shovel this year! Did you know 12,000 people a year are injured and 100 die as a result of shoveling snow? Between the risk to slip and fall, the exposure to the cold, the strain on the shoulders and back, and the potential for heart attack, this is actually one of the most dangerous household tasks for the elderly. In fact, Harvard Medical School has come out to say that those age 50 or older should just avoid shoveling snow altogether if they can do so.

Avoid Icy Conditions

Other than shoveling the driveway, there are many other icy conditions to be aware of as both a driver and a pedestrian. You should certainly avoid driving when conditions are bad, especially if your local weather advisories or travel advisories direct you to do so. This isn’t just due to the hazards of driving, but also other drivers, and the risk of cold or freezing temperatures in the car.

If you have to go out walking in the cold, remember to go slowly and wear appropriate shoes with good traction. Don’t cross areas where snow removal hasn’t been completed in a parking lot or on the sidewalk. Lastly, make sure to wear gloves so you can keep your hands out of your pockets for balance.

Monitor Fire Hazards

It’s no surprise that with all this talk of cold weather, fire and carbon monoxide risks go up in cold weather too. Space heaters, fireplaces, ovens, and even holiday decorations can all play a role in these risks. But space heaters are the main cause of fatal home fires in the US.

When it comes to space heater safety, be sure the heater is not damaged in any way before use. Follow all included instructions and recommendations. This includes keeping the heater a safe distance from flammable objects like curtains or blankets. If you have a fireplace, make sure to get the chimney cleaned in the summer or fall so it’s safe to use. Lastly, make sure you have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector to alert you if something goes wrong.

These winter safety tips are nothing revolutionary, but they are tried-and-tested ways to keep safe during bad winter weather. Have a happy and healthy season!

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance? Selling an unwanted life insurance policy is no different than selling your car, home or any other valuable asset that will create immediate cash. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors
llagrotte@lsa-llc.com
1-888-849-0887

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