Watch Out for these Winter Hazards

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Image via Wikimedia commons

Now that we’re in the midst of winter, cold weather, snow and ice are starting to make an appearance. With this season there are a few hazards that seniors should watch out for to stay safe:

Hypothermia. Cold weather deaths are frighteningly common in seniors. According to the National Institute on Aging, seniors are especially susceptible to hypothermia since response to cold can be diminished due to certain medications, or conditions like diabetes. Even small drops in temperature can cause hypothermia in older adults. This can be prevented by dressing warmly (even around the house), and keeping the home at a warm temperature.

Frostbite. Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. According to the CDC, risk for frostbite is increased in people who are not dressed appropriately for cold weather, and in people with reduced blood circulation. Watch out for frostbite by dressing warmly in cold conditions, and be especially careful in the cold if you have issues with blood circulation.

Icy conditions. Ice on walkways can cause slips and falls which can be extremely dangerous for older adults. One out of three seniors suffers a fall each year, and many of those falls happen during winter. Walkways should be de-iced as soon as possible in order to keep them safe for pedestrians. Icy roads are a danger for drivers as well – seniors should stay safe by avoiding driving when road conditions are icy.

These are just a few things to be careful of – every region comes with its own hazards, so be on alert and stay safe and warm this winter!

The Importance of Pets

Those of us who are pet owners all know how important pets are to our lives. Their unconditional love and affection brings out our instincts for nurturing, and provides enrichment to daily life.

But pets are more than just important family members. They can actually help to reduce stress and possibly even risk for heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership seems to be associated with a reduction in heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Dog ownership in particular may also help with reducing obesity by encouraging owners to stay active – Your furry friend most likely needs to go for regular walks. Owning a dog can be particularly beneficial to seniors who may feel lonely, as owning a dog often leads to socializing with other pet owners when taking it for walks or visiting the dog park.

For seniors who may not be able to leave home as easily, caring for a pet can help fight against depression. A pet can be a constant companion who is always there for you, helping to prevent isolation and loneliness.
We invite you to have your small pet live with you at Brooking Park. Small dogs are always allowed, with no extra deposit required.

What is Assisted Living?

Anyone who is researching care for their loved one is likely to be a bit overwhelmed by the number of options. You might see information about  residential care, board and care, or personal care facilities. These terms are all the same – they are all different terms for assisted living. You might find yourself asking the question: What is assisted  living, and what does it provide?

According to eldercare.gov, assisted living is a “housing alternative for older adults who may need help with dressing, bathing, eating, and toileting, but do not require the intensive medical and nursing care provided in nursing homes.” Assisted living was created to help seniors that are not able to fully function in an independent living setting, but are not in need of full-time skilled nursing care.

Since there is no national standard for assisted living in the US, and assisted living facilities are licensed by state, different facilities will offer different services. Some of the services that may be provided by assisted living facilities include:

  • Health care management and monitoring
  • Help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Medication reminders and/or help with medications
  • Recreational activities
  • Security
  • Transportation

Assisted living facilities come in all shapes and sizes. Some are urban campuses while others may be a suburban community. Still others may have a resort-like feel. It is best to visit any facility to find out if it is right for your loved one.

Costs of assisted living vary by facility and location. According to eldercare.gov, costs can range from $25,000 per year to $50,000 per year. Some facilities charge extra for certain services, so it is important to ask that of any facility you may visit. Medicare does not cover costs for assisted living, but in some states Medicaid will pay for the service part of it.

If you are considering assisted living for your loved one, don’t forget to visit Brooking Park! You can call 314-576-5545 with any questions you might have or come by for a visit today.