Midwest Home Care News

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Midwest Home Care offers compassionate in home health care services.

Avoid Slips and Falls This Winter

Living in Northeast Ohio, we are well acclimated to winter snow storms and icing conditions. To help avoid serious injuries from slips and falls on slippery walkways this winter, here are a few preventative measures you can take.

  • When getting out of your vehicle or leaving your house, take small careful steps instead of large ones. Use handrails, handles, or other sturdy objects to help keep your balance. Do not run or try and jump over ice. You may miss, slip and fall on snow covered ice.
  • Keep your hands free from your coat pockets to help you balance. If you do fall, you will want to your arms readily available to help brace the impact of your fall.
  • Wear proper footwear for wintry conditions. Better traction will help lessen the likelihood of slips and falls.
  • Carrying a large load of groceries or other items, where you must use both your arms at the same time, can increase the likelihood of injuring yourself during a fall. You want to have at least one arm free, preferably both, to help break your fall. It is advised that if you feel yourself falling that you should toss your load. This will allow you to use your arms to either stop your fall or use them to absorb the impact of the fall.

To help prevent icy conditions on your walkways or in your driveway, you will want to make sure you shovel and salt those areas regularly, If you are physically unable, you should ask a neighbor or relative for assistance.

Midwest Home Care offers compassionate in home health care services.

Helping the Elderly Stay Warm This Winter

It can be very difficult for the elderly to stay warm when temperatures drop. Their body does not produce as much body heat, they have less ability to tell when their body temperature drops too low; compiled with medications that may thin their blood, poor nutrition, and poor blood circulations can all lead to dangerous health concerns.

There are a few ways you can help your elderly relative or friend stay warm this winter.

  • Wearing several thin layers of natural fiber loose-fitting clothes while indoors will help trap in body heat. If their body temperature rises, you can easily remove layers as needed to help prevent overheating.
  • Set the thermostat to at least 75 degrees or have a room that is heated and they is easily accessible for them to stay warm.
  • Have a throw blanket or shawl readily available that they can cover themselves with as needed to maintain warmth. A heavy blanket may be too much for them to use due to the weight, so keep it light.
  • Nutrition is important. You will want to ensure they are easting high calorie foods during the winter to help maintain their weight. Warm cups of tea, coffee, or chocolate will also help ward off the chills.
  • Seal drafts in their house where you can. Windows and doors are a big source for drafts. Adding plastic to windows, using heavy curtains on windows, and putting on door draft stoppers are easy ways to cut down on the cold coming into the house.
Our home health care services include occupational and physical therapy, nutritional services and general nursing care.

Travelling with the Elderly During Winter

Travelling to doctors' appointments, running errands, and going to visit family members doesn't end when winter hits. The cold winter weather of Northeast Ohio can take its toll on the elderly.

Here are a few ways to help keep them safe and warm while travelling this winter.

  • Wear appropriate attire at all times. The elderly can lose body heat very quickly and not realize how cold they are. Warm layers, coat, gloves or mittens, and scarves are essential.
  • Use caution on ice or other slippery conditions to avoid serious injuries from slips and falls (See our article on preventative tips).
  • Stay dry by wearing waterproof apparel to avoid health hazards such as hypothermia or frostbite.
  • Stay inside during severe weather such as heavy snowfall or high wind conditions. Postpone errands or family visits during these hazardous times to avoid serious life-threatening situations.
  • Avoid those that are coughing, sneezing, or have a fever. Elderly are very susceptible to the flu virus and other illnesses due to a weakened immune system. It is best they wash their hands frequently and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Make sure you have all necessary medications they may need during their travel. Even if it is a short trip, having their asthma inhaler or other medication handy, in case of delay or emergency, can help possibly avoid a more serious issue from arising.
  • Keep them hydrated with water. All the physical activity of travelling can be taxing to their system and they may not feel thirsty, however as their body perspires they can become dangerously dehydrated.