Winter Safety Tips

Winter is here and we at RSVP want everyone to stay safe and healthy throughout the season.  Check out our tips for keeping yourself healthy and safe this winter.

Avoid Slipping on Ice
Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and stay inside until the roads are clear. Replace a worn cane tip to making walking easier. Take off shoes as soon as you return indoors because often snow and ice attach to the soles and, once melted, can lead to slippery conditions inside.

Dress for Warmth
Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia — a condition where the body temperature dips too low. It’s important to keep the indoor temperature from going too low and dress in layers to give you more control over your temperature. When going outside wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.

According to the CDC, more than half of hypothermia-related deaths were of people over the age of 65. Never let your body temperature get too low and if it does then seek medical assistance.

Hold Back the Winter Blues
The icy roads and cold often mean that everyone, but especially seniors stay home and alone more often in the winter. This can lead to feeling of loneliness and isolation. Combat this by making plans with family members and friends to check up on each other even with just a phone call. Talk to your local senior center about social programs or check in programs that they may offer or better yet set one up yourself.
Ready Your Car
Driving in the winter is ugly for everyone, but as your age and reflexes slow down it can become a real hazard. Make sure that your car has been serviced recently with full checks of the oil, tires, battery, and wipers to help you feel confident when you do have to drive.
Prepare to Lose Power
In Montana, we’re used to winter and thankfully rarely have too many problems due to it, but even we can lose power thanks to winter storms. Make sure that you have what you need at home in an easy to reach place. Your kit should include flashlights, a battery-powered radio, warm blankets, some non-perishable food and spare clothing including a hat.
Eat Right for Winter
Humans need Vitamin D to be healthy and in the summer we often get our fill of it by being outside, but as the weather turns dark and cold we need to adjust our diets. During the winter months Vitamin D deficiency can be a problem due to being inside and not eating as much variety. To stay healthy eat foods that are rich in Vitamin D like tuna or salmon, milk orange juice, soy milk, cereals, egg yolks and cheese.

Watch the Carbon Monoxide
In the winter we turn up the heat to stay warm, but if you have a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns then remember that you have to be careful of Carbon Monoxide. Make sure that you have a working carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries or if you don’t have one that you get a new one immediately.

My Winter Kit
Year round I keep some supplies on hand, but during the winter I increase my supplies a little bit just to be on the safe side.

  • Couple galleons of bottled water for drinking
  • Can opener and mess kit
  • Emergency candles and lighter
  • Hand warmer packs
  • Solar charger
  • Cell phone
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Nonperishable food: canned beans, granola bars, nuts, cereal, crackers, big jar of peanut butter and dried fruit

Do you have any thoughts and tips to pass on?

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