How to help seniors stay safe in winter weather

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Council on Aging`s Help4Seniors Resource Directory includes a section on cold weather safety, as well as resources for other weather-related emergencies, natural disasters and emergency preparedness in general.

From the Resource Directory homepage, keyword search: winter.  For more general emergency preparedness resources, keyword search: emergency.

winter weather

Here are some tips to help older and disabled adults stay safe in winter weather:

  • Check-in on elderly family and neighbors. If you`re at all concerned about someone`s safety, don`t let him or her put you off. Stop by if you can.
  • Clear walkways and handrails of snow and ice and put down salt or other ice melter. It`s best to encourage seniors to stay inside. Falls can spell disaster for older adults. Bring in mail and newspapers.
  • Check supplies of food and emergency items like flashlights, batteries, smoke alarm battery
  • Check to make sure a space heater is being used properly: plug into outlet, not extension cord. Keep at least 3 feet away from anything that could burn, including the wall.
  • If someone must get out (pick up a prescription, dr. appointment, etc.), offer to drive.
  • Be a friend. Some seniors can get very isolated and stormy weather can make it worse.

A note about Meals on Wheels and transportation services during harsh winter weather:

  • These days, most Meals on Wheels are delivered chilled or frozen because seniors can heat them in microwaves. When bad weather threatens, extra meals are delivered in advance. Meals on Wheels clients also get a supply of shelf stable foods (peanut butter, tuna fish, etc.) to help them through weather emergencies.
  • Most transportation trips are put on hold in unsafe weather, but some transportation is critical, such as for dialysis patients.
  • Council on Aging provides funding for Meals on Wheels, transportation and other services to seniors in a 5-county region of southwestern Ohio.
  • Annually, we supply nearly 2 million meals to more than 10,000 homebound adults.
  • Annually, we supply more than 280,000 trips to medical appointments, adult day services, recreation activities, and more.
  • The meals and transportation are delivered by providers, such as in-home care agencies and senior centers, who have contracts with Council on Aging.

For more information:

Resource Directory: Cold Weather Safety

Resource Directory: Disasters and Emergency Preparedness

Get help with winter heating bills

Resource Directory: Financial assistance with home repairs and weatherization