Like it or not, winter is back in the northern hemisphere. For those in the Midwest and Northeast, the arrival of winter means three months of snow, ice and other unfavorable winter nuisances. The good news is that spring will be here before you know it. In the meantime, knowing how to make the most of the winter weather will help keep your spirits up as you wait for spring to arrive.
My Divine Concierge helps clients deal with many weather related problems during the winter. For example, we might have to help an older client clear ice and snow from the walkway just to get out to a doctor’s appointment. This means more time preparing to leave the house and a slower walk from the house to the car. Everything just takes longer during the winter. There is no way around it.
Let’s talk about some helpful hints that will make surviving the winter of bit easier:
Steps and Walkways: Keep Them Clear
Did you know that slips and falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal accidents involving older Americans? It’s true. In 2012 alone, some 2.4 million older adults were accidentally injured after falling. More than 700,000 of them required hospitalization. You can reduce the risk of falling and injuring yourself by keeping your steps and walkways clear of snow and ice.
It is a good idea to put a bag of rock salt or snow-melt near the door you use most often. At the first sign of snow or ice, apply the salt to your steps and walkways. Also, keep a shovel near the door in case it piles up faster than the salt can deal with it. Being able to clear snow on your way out the door is a safer than having to walk through the snow and ice to retrieve a shovel from the garage.
It is also a good idea to make sure every exterior door in your home is kept clear of snow. Why? Because you need to maximize the available exit points in case of a fire. Keeping only one door clear of snow allows for only a single exit point. That is not safe.
Your Car: Keep Gas in the Tank
The epic lake effect snowstorm that hit South Buffalo in November was certainly a storm to remember. Dozens of cars were trapped on area roadways, with some people choosing to remain with their vehicles rather than abandon them. You need to keep plenty of gas in your tank just in case something like this happens to you. As a general rule of thumb, always having at least a half tank or more is a good idea during the winter. Also think about storing a blanket and a small amount of food in your car during the winter.
Household Chores: Ask for Help
If your age or physical health prevents you from completing household chores during the winter, do not be afraid to ask for help. My Divine Concierge would be more than happy to come to your home to help you accomplish what needs to be done. We are experts at getting things done around the house.
The truth is that winter weather can be difficult on older people and those with chronic health problems. In addition to the aches and pains, winter weather tends to exacerbate health problems through greater exposure to colds, the flu, etc. Do not let those household chores remain undone because you are not feeling well. Instead, let a personal concierge come help you.
Keep your chin up; spring will be here in just a few months. In the meantime, do your best to make the most of the winter season. And never forget that every day is precious.