Community Blog

Don’t Forget, Frozen Precipitation Can Still Affect Senior Safety

By Erin Carll

Even though winter has officially come to an end, frozen precipitation can still occur. It can come in the form of snow, freezing rain, sleet, and even runoff that freezes overnight. As snow begins to melt during the day and the temperature drops below 32°F overnight, that moisture on the walkways, driveway, wheelchair ramps, stairs, and other surfaces will freeze.

This can pose serious safety issues for seniors.

Safety should be the top priority of any family member concerned about their aging parent, grandparent, or other loved one. As the weather turns warmer, we often begin thinking less and less about those frozen precipitation concerns.

So, what can you do about it?

Be diligent. Focus on the weather forecasts. Pay attention to the anticipated low temperatures overnight, how warm it was during the day, and whether or not there could be frozen precipitation that melted and may refreeze on common walking areas.

Understand the senior’s schedule.

If the senior still drives, goes for walks, takes out the garbage by themselves, when are they going to do these things? If they have a tendency to do them early in the morning, they need to be focused on what the temperature is, whether or not the ground has frozen spots, and be aware that black ice is possible, even during the middle of the day, especially if those portions of the walkways or driveway are shadowed by the house.

Talk about support.

Keeping seniors safe at home may mean providing them physical support at various times throughout the day. If the senior plans to go to the store or enjoys going for walks around the block, a home care aide can be a valuable asset to keeping them safer. This caregiver can be hired for just a couple of hours a day, even for just a couple of days a week when you hire through an agency.

This home care aide can stop by and walk beside the senior when they’re doing these various tasks. They may even be able to provide transportation for the senior to go to the store. This can be a great way to keep him or her safe when out and about.

A home care aide may also be more alert to just how much could have frozen overnight. Just because spring has arrived doesn’t mean the various risk factors of winter precipitation are completely gone, especially in the northern states.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Wexford, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.