Living in the United Kingdom we are used to bad weather. Especially in the wintertime, we are very likely to be affected by heavy rainfall, ice and possibly even snow. This can make venturing outside increasingly hazardous, particularly for older people.
Chilly air, snowfall, rain, mist and fog all result in an increase in the number of accidents that occur outdoors. This trend is seen right across the board in terms of age however, children and elderly citizens are the most at risk. Balance can often be negatively impacted with age, making an elderly person more likely to trip or fall, especially when the ground is wet or icy. As a person ages, injuries sustained via falls, take significantly longer to heal. They can also lead to severe internal damage for elderly people and contribute to ongoing health complications. It is therefore essential that your loved ones are as safe as possible when leaving the comfort of their home.
These factors may induce anxiety in you and your loved ones however, keeping them indoors is not the answer. It has been shown that the maintenance of an active and independent lifestyle into old age, helps to improve overall health, happiness and wellbeing. In order to do this, it is necessary to take certain precautions before leaving the house. This allows you or your elderly loved ones to feel confident and safe both inside and outside of the home.
We have put together a few safety tips for the elderly to help keep your loved ones safe outdoors this winter.
The first step to being safe outdoors, is to encourage your elderly loved ones to remain on high alert when leaving the home. They should avoid hazards where possible, even if this means taking a longer route. Afterall, the best form of defence against hazards is prevention. In addition to this, they should make use of assistive features when outdoors i.e. always use handrails if available.
During the winter seasons, the ground may be icy. This is known as an unavoidable hazard. When it is icy outside, elderly people should only make necessary trips outdoors, as this is a high risk time in terms of falling. If venturing outside is essential, the best way to prepare your elderly loved ones is to invest in non-skid durable footwear. This style of footwear provides better traction, helping to reduce the risk of falling. If an elderly person usually makes use of a cane, placing a rubber tip on the base of it can help to reinforce traction on damp roads and paths.
It is not only injury sustained through falls that is a risk for older people in colder weather. Colder weather can cause the immune system to be depleted and therefore risk of illness is also greatly increased. Elderly people are already more susceptible to illness therefore, taking measures to counteract this is essential. One of the main ways to combat illness is by ensuring that you keep wrapped up and warm when in cold or wet conditions. The best way to do this is to dress in layers. Layers trap heat thus reducing heat loss. Any item of clothing that becomes wet should be removed as soon as possible. If wet clothing is worn for a prolonged period of time, you are at risk of catching cold or fever; in elderly people a cold or fever can quickly become something much worse.
CHAPERONE YOUR LOVED ONES:
Whilst this may not always be possible, due to work and other family commitments, you should attempt to chaperone your elderly loved ones, when they are leaving the house, as much as possible. By having a carer alongside them, they are able to use them for stability; it is also beneficial for hazard identification. The eyesight of many older people is often impaired therefore, looking out for possible risks may be difficult.
INVEST IN A MEDICAL ALERT DEVICE:
When you can’t be there, we can. Technology has undoubtedly made the lives of elderly people easier, offering them more independence and promoting accessibility. Telecare devices are one of the main technologies helping to do this. At SureSafe, we offer medical alert devices in the form of pendant alarms, personal alarm and GPS enabled mobile wearable devices. These devices allow the wearer to raise the alert should they suffer a fall, injury or illness. They are without a doubt, one of the most effective methods of ensuring that your elderly loved ones get immediate medical attention should they need it.
Users simply need to press an emergency button and a designated contact, or responder from our 24/7 monitoring centre, will be alerted. Many devices also contain automatic fall detection, to raise the alert if the wearer is unable to do so. After a fall, or during illness, an elderly person may be rendered unconscious and therefore, unable to press the emergency button. By measuring factors such as airspeed and air pressure, a fall detection alarm can sense when a fall has occurred and request immediate assistance on the user’s behalf
As we are talking about protecting your elderly loved ones when they are outdoors however, it is important to ensure medical alert devices are enabled with GPS mobile technology. Our range of ‘Go Anywhere’ alarms allow the wearer to request assistance no matter where they are. The pendant alarm acts as the entire alarm, allowing your loved ones to stay connected at all times. Utilising GPS technology, if an accident were to occur, the monitoring team would be able to quickly identify the location of the elderly wearer so that immediate medical assistance could be sent.
Our aim at SureSafe is to ensure that your loved ones are as safe and protected as possible. With our diverse range of pendant alarms, telecare, careline and personal alarms devices for the elderly, you can help us to do this…and all at a reasonable price. All of our devices are built with the latest technology to assure maximum accuracy and protection as and when it is needed.
With SureSafe your elderly loved ones can continue to lead an independent lifestyle, with the peace of mind that medical help is just a button press away.
For additional advice and support, get in touch with a SureSafe representative today!