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How seniors can stay safe during the winter

Keep a bench or stool next to the door. This way you can remove your shoes upon entering and eliminate slippery puddles from melted snow that gets caught in shoe soles. Frequently, after a snowstorm, snow or ice will attach to shoes, only to melt once a person enters the warmer air of the house. If you keep your shoes on when coming in from the cold, this ice or snow will melt throughout your home, creating a few slippery puddles in the process. This will leave you susceptible to falls and increase your risk of injury.

Outdoors

A broken bone can be a very traumatic injury for a senior. The strength of bones diminishes as a person ages. Therefore it can take longer for you to heal than a child or younger adult. Reducing the chance for falls can help prevent such injuries. Always wear shoes with rubber treads for traction. If you rely on a walker or cane, make sure the rubber tips are in good working order. A metal pronged tip could provide added traction.

It can be strenuous to walk through deep snow. Try to choose shoveled paths.

Black ice can make driving treacherous, and blowing snow can reduce visibility. If you feel uncomfortable driving during inclement weather, simply don't.

Frostbite and hypothermia

Frostbite and hypothermia are two of the biggest dangers seniors face. Always dress in layers to leave some leeway for fluctuating temperatures. Most susceptible body parts are fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the nose. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness and a white cast to the skin in the affected area.

Hypothermia is a condition in which a person's body temperature is abnormally low, typically at a dangerous level. Symptoms of hypothermia might be misconstrued as normal side effects of a cold winter. However, hypothermia can be fatal. Symptoms of hypothermia include:

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