Glasswater Creek of Lafayette wants to help prepare you and your loved ones for the cold winter weather ahead!

When temperatures drop and snow and ice come to visit, life becomes more challenging for people of all ages, but is especially demanding on seniors. As this time of year throws extra challenges our way, we hope that these tips will keep you safe this winter.

  1. Avoid Slipping on the Ice.

Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. Falls can be detrimental to older adults, and often are a common occurrence — even when treacherous weather doesn’t throw us a snowball. In some cases, when older adults fall, their injuries can be life threatening. Make sure you or your loved one has supportive shoes to wear with good traction and non–skid soles. Try to stay indoors until your sidewalks are clear. If you have an aging loved one who does not have family nearby, consider contracting with a neighbor, young adult or snow removal company to ensure their sidewalk or driveways are clear. If utilizing a cane, ensure that the tip is not worn. Consider removing shoes as you return indoors because often snow and ice attach to the soles,  and once melted, can lead to slippery wet conditions.

  1. Dress for Warmth, Wear Layers

 Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of hypothermia-related deaths were of people over the age of 65. So, don’t let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. Going outside? Wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs. If you or a loved one must go out that day, consult a neighbor or friend you trust. Let them know the time you are expected to leave and return, so that someone is alert in case an accident occurs. Keeping in contact helps lessen the likelihood that in the case of an accident or fall you will be left without someone checking on you. You never know when an accident can occur.

  1. Fight Wintertime Blues

Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation. To help avoid these issues, family members should check in on their loved ones as often as possible. When older adults do not have family nearby, consult a neighbor or consider hiring a visiting caregiver to provide frequent check-in’s and support throughout the winter months. A short, daily phone call can make a big difference, too. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends where each person looks in on one or two others every day. When weather and temperatures permit, consider utilizing services to help seniors get to activities and other programs at local communities to provide opportunities for socialization. Glasswater Creek of Lafayette opens its doors to any and all activities posted on our calendar.

Click here to see the calendar and special community events. (We do suggest calling ahead to ensure there has not been any last minute changes in the schedule.)

  1. Check the Car

Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone, but it is especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive as often anymore or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits — or ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Allow your car to warm up for at least 10 minutes before driving. Keep an emergency bag in the car with extra layers of clothing, blankets, non-perishable food items, a light and heat packs. During winter weather, it often can slow response times for emergency personnel responding to slide offs and crashes. If driving is necessary during the winter, review safe and reliable senior transportation options. Southeast Trans, Access Bus, and local cabs are all available to assist seniors in getting to and from doctors’ appointments throughout the year. Glasswater Creek of Lafayette residents benefit from living at the community with our weekly transportation services to doctors’ appointments and nearby shopping once a week.

  1. Prepare for Power Outages & Create an Emergency Supply

Winter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure you or your loved one has easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets as well as consider purchasing instant heat packs to keep hands and feet warm. Longer power outages can spoil the food in your refrigerator and freezer, so keep a supply of non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold on hand. If the power goes out, try to avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer. Also, when you’re without power, be sure to wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Move around to raise your body temperature. Keep an emergency list of contacts for friends, family, and local officials with a charged battery-operated phone.

The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help.

Glasswater Creek is an affordable option to assist older adults with maintaining and increasing the longevity of their independence in a supportive environment. If you have a loved one, friend, or neighbor who is 62 or older and could benefit from assistance in increasing and maintaining their independence, please contact us at 765-477-1140 to begin preparing for the hardest time of the year.

Although Glasswater Creek of Lafayette does not offer winter respite stays, the community is an affordable option to decrease the worries and challenges for older adults and give them that time back to start living despite the season! Glasswater Creek is an official Winter Warm Up Station.

Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with a bit of planning and awareness, you will stay healthy and experience the joys of springtime soon enough.