4 Ways to Keep Seniors Weather-Safe in Georgia Year Round

Keep Seniors Weather-Safe

Four Ways to Keep Our Seniors Weather-Safe in Georgia Year Round

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Georgia is generally known for its milder and tropical climate on the Gulf coast. It’s also home to a wide range of weather events from hurricanes to tornados – and everything in between.

While seniors may want to stay independent – living in their own homes as long as possible – it’s also important to keep them safe and comfortable. Because of various medical conditions and the side effects of certain medications, seniors are at greater risk for things like heat related illness, respiratory problems, and infection.

To keep your loved ones safe, there are a few things to consider which can help prevent weather-related health problems as they age. Here is a quick guide to preventative measures you can take to keep older adults safe in their homes year-round.

Preventing heat-related illness Keep Seniors Weather-Safe.

In warmer months, or even just warmer days, ensure you are taking the steps needed to protect seniors from heat-related illness. While air-circulating room fans can provide some relief, they may not be enough protection on the hottest days. When temperatures rise, keep seniors indoors with air conditioning and natural loose-fitting clothing. Avoid cooking on the stove or using the oven, and keep extra hydrated.

Centra Care, a company with adult and pediatric urgent care facilities stretching across three states, notes that every year, an average of 2,800 Americans are hospitalized for a heat-related illness and complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also explains that adults over the age of 65 are more likely to let their condition worsen to the point that they need hospitalization.

Be sure to check in with family members to make sure they are prepared for the warmer weather. Heat-related illness is more common in the summer months but it can happen at any time of the year. 2015 saw the hottest Christmas on record with Atlanta reaching a record daytime temperature of 75 degrees! Heat-related illness and complications are especially important to look out for in places like Georgia that see warmer weather year-round.

Understanding cold-weather complications and Keep Seniors Weather-Safe

The freezing rain and occasional snow that sweeps the central and northern areas of the state in the winter months also presents another set of problems. Seniors are more susceptible to heart attacks when shoveling snow and attempting other yard work in cooler weather. This is a serious concern and one that older adults need to be aware of so they can mitigate the potentially harmful and fatal effects of cooler weather. Every year in the U.S., around 100 adults over the age of 55 die from heart attacks as a result of winter-related yard work.

Additionally, illnesses and diseases like pneumonia and even the common flu, send older adults to the ER and intensive care as their conditions worsen. While vaccines can provide some protection, it’s better to ensure a healthy immune system year round, and avoid busy indoor public places where those with these illnesses are more likely to contaminate others.

Preventing slips and falls According to Injury Facts 2016, a statistical report by the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for adults age 65 and older. Georgia’s wet, cold,

sometimes icy, and often slippery winter weather can present additional opportunities for dangerous falls.

Ensuring the safety of older adults is best accomplished by encouraging them to stay active as they age. Adults who exercise and stay active are less likely to be seriously injured in an accident or fall. Older adults may benefit from strength training and yoga to improve their balance and coordination.

It’s common for older adults to over anticipate their skill level or coordination. Many will continue to do routine household maintenance and upkeep – even in storms and other adverse weather conditions, and despite their ill health and age. Consider hiring home help for delegated tasks to reduce the risk of slips, falls, and other injuries.

Hiring home help

Make allowances for additional home help with chores like yard maintenance and house upkeep. Enlist professionals from the local community to regularly visit the home to clear brush and debris, remove leaves from rain gutters and roofs, and help with other household tasks.

Hiring help will ensure that your older family member is getting the in-home assistance they need. It will also keep them from putting themselves at risk if they feel forced to take care of a home-threatening situation – like rain gutter flooding or roof leaks – in a storm.

Always stay abreast of weather news in your loved one’s area. Listen in on television and radio to stay on top of local storms. When a weather watch is issued for freezing rain, encourage older adults to stay indoors and safe from the elements. Reassure them that it is safer to stay indoors until the weather has cleared.

While we can’t protect our loved ones from everything, we can take steps to know the risks and of weather-related illness and injuries and take steps to mitigate them. By knowing the hazards of weather-related illness like heat exhaustion, heart attacks, and falls, we can be better prepared to offer help and assistance to the older adults we love the most.

Author links and credits were not included with this post, please send along with your posts.

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