The first snow is always to bit of a jolt, even more so for those of us who are older or who are helping older loved ones. Shorter day length and cold, slippery weather bring about new challenges and exacerbate existing issues for older adults and for those suffering with dementia.
Helping Loved Ones with Dementia
Problems like not remembering a coat or losing one’s way become even more serious issues when it’s cold and it gets dark early. The dark is difficult for anyone with impaired eyesight and confusing for those with dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Association has some great reminders for this season and you can read them here. It’s important to always keep in mind:
- Increased darkness can confuse those with Alzheimer’s.
- Cold can sneak up on you. Make sure your loved one is dressed in warm, comfortable layers that cover as much exposed skin as possible.
- Falls are more likely in winter. Take steps to get the right footwear and to deal with slippery surfaces.
- Where you park can help. Park as close as possible to your destination and indoors, whenever possible.
- Wandering is especially dangerous this time of year. Research your options and take steps to keep your loved one safe.
This time of year is always a challenge for older adults when it comes to transportation. For those of you using SRC’s transportation, here is an important number.
Keep this number handy for the latest information from SRC about our transportation services. It is updated by 6:00 am. Local news stations and 850 KOA Radio also broadcast details on community closures.
SRC wants everyone to stay safe. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Be careful getting in and out of vehicles. Walk slowly outside. Watch where you are walking and avoid the ice if possible.
- Help by having your walkway and entry free of snow
- Stomp off snow and ice before proceeding to the stairs or walking inside. Wet shoes can be slippery inside, too.
- Speaking of shoes, wear ones with non-skid soles
- Always hold on to stair railings, going up or down
- Allow extra time to cross streets, especially during or after a snow
- Wherever you go, always take a cell phone, just in case.
These are important things to remember, no matter where you are going or how you are getting there this season.