Pay special attention to your elderly friends and neighbors during this cold weather! Reports from across the country have shown that elderly citizens are falling victim to injury and death as they are faced with the challenges of this incredibly cold and bitter winter. According to one news source, an elderly woman from the state of Indiana was found dead recently as a casualty of the winter weather. She had walked outside, slipped and fallen outside of her home (near her car), and subsequently died from hypothermia. To avoid such tragedies, the article recommended several things to do to protect the elderly friends and neighbors in your community:
- Plan and encourage participation in inside, social activities. The local YMCA or community center may have activities that will appeal to seniors in the area.
- Keep a close eye out for signs of frostbite, which tend to affect older adults because they often have diminished circulation.
- Check in frequently, and see if elderly neighbors need help with things like shoveling, grocery shopping, and outside maintenance.
- If elderly adults have to go outside to do maintenance, encourage them to take frequent breaks to come inside, rest, and warm back up.
As noted in last week’s blog posts, seniors are also more susceptible to mood changes in relation to the seasons, especially when they are not fully mobile. This is something to be aware of, especially when your elderly loved one may be residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility. You may want to check in with staff at these facilities to find out what programs and activities are being offered for their residents during the long stretch of winter.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer who takes nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the western and central Pennsylvania areas. He takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties, and his practice is based in Altoona, PA. For more information on his firm, please call his office at 814-515-9074 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.