Winters may be a little warmer, but they're no less treacherous! With a mix of snow, rain, ice, warmth and freezing temperatures (you could have them all in a single day) winters are a harbinger of falls, flu's, frostbite, hypothermia, fender benders and worse.
So how do you make sure you stay off your keister and out of your doctor's office this winter? We decided to list our 5 favorite winter products, remedies and solutions to help you and your loved ones stay safe and comfortable this winter.
5 "Most Recommended" Winter Products For Seniors
Whether you're stepping out of your car onto a patch of black ice, walking on unsalted sidewalks or inching down slippery stairs, there's nothing scarier than ice in the winter. Emergency rooms swell with fall related injuries in the winter, from broken wrists, arms and clavicles to separated shoulders and concussions.
Aside from staying indoors on the iciest of days, you can either get yourself a pair of crampons you can place over your shoes, or buy a pair of boots with built in spikes for the winter time.
2. Ice Melt
OK, so we know winter ice is your nemesis. If you have you're own outdoor landing, stairs, walkway or driveway, you need to have salt, sand or ice melt handy. Even if you have someone coming to clean your driveway or steps, there will be periods when they won't be around and ice will be a risk.
Keep a bucket full inside your house or just outside your door with a small gardening spade, so you can salt BEFORE you step onto your landing.
3. Flu & Pneumococcal Vaccinations
Seniors are at higher risk of dying from the flu than any other population. In fact, the CDC estimates that between 70 and 85 percent of seasonal flu related deaths occurred to people over the age of 65. Seniors are also at higher risk of contracting pneumococcal infections, which cause pneumonia and meningitis.
The CDC says that the best way for those over the age of 65 to limit complications, hospitalizations and doctor visits, arising from the flu is to get vaccinated annually. They recommend getting a flu shot, NOT the nasal spray. For a list of the different type of flu shots to discuss with your doctor, read this. To learn more about pneumococcal vaccinations read this.
4. Winter Tires
We may get wiser with old age, but our reaction times aren't getting any better, that's for sure. To help us out, we highly recommend that if you live or travel to areas where it snows, you get snow tires. Yes all weather tires are better than summer tires, but they're nowhere near as effective as winter tires.
In fact, some northern states and provinces, like Quebec, Alberta, Germany and Austria make it mandatory to use winter tires. Winter tires will help you stop faster and avoid fish tailing. When your reaction times are declining, any advantage you can get should be welcomed!
5. Safe & Energy Efficient Space Heater
You know when you ask yourself how that teenager isn't shivering wearing a sweatshirt, no hat, no gloves and a pair of sneakers in the middle of February, let alone getting pneumonia? Well, he actually feels warmer than you.
Seniors are particularly susceptible to colder temperatures and can suffer from hypothermia even in mildly cool temperatures like 60-65 degrees. That's why it's important to keep your house at a MINIMUM of 68 degrees if you're over the age of 65. Use an energy efficient space heater to get some of those colder rooms to a comfortable temp on colder days.