Winters in Michigan can be downright deadly. The arctic blast of winter and snow and below-freezing temperatures are a sure sign that winter is here and that older adults need to exercise caution. At Baldwin House Senior Living, we know how unpredictable winter can be, and we want to share 12 ways seniors can stay safe in winter in Michigan.

One of the best ways to navigate winter is by calling Baldwin House your home. When you live in one of our beautiful senior living communities, you won’t have to worry about winter maintenance, social isolation and many of the other winter hazards that winter is known for.

Cold weather brings health risks and safety concerns, but with proper precautions and preparedness, seniors can enjoy the winter months safely and comfortably. This article provides essential tips for seniors to stay safe and maintain their well-being during the winter season.

12 Ways Seniors Can Stay Safe In Winter In Michigan

Why does winter pose risks for older adults?

As we age, our bodies respond differently to cold (and hot) temperatures. Older adults are more susceptible to hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature, as well as other winter-related health issues such as flu and falls due to icy conditions.

Here are tips on staying safe this winter:

  1. Dress appropriately: Layering is key. Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing rather than a single heavy layer. Don’t forget warm socks, hats, scarves and gloves when you go outside.
  2. Keep your home comfortably heated. If using space heaters, ensure they are placed away from flammable materials and turned off when not in use. We do not advocate the use of space heaters.
  3. Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids. Warm soups and beverages can help maintain body heat.
  4. Keep up with regular check-ups to monitor health. Winter can exacerbate conditions like arthritis and cardiovascular issues.
  5. Prevent slips and falls. Wear shoes with non-skid soles to prevent falls on ice and snow. If possible, stay indoors when the sidewalks and streets are snow- and ice-covered. Keep walkways around your home salted and sanded to improve traction.
  6. Seek help with outdoor tasks like shoveling snow, or hire a service to handle these tasks for you.
  7. Have an emergency kit ready with essentials like medications, first-aid supplies, flashlights and extra batteries.
  8. In case of a power outage, have a plan in place. Keep extra blankets and non-perishable food items handy.
  9. Ensure that carbon monoxide detectors are functioning correctly, especially if using gas heaters or fireplaces.

Battling Winter Isolation

  1. Stay in and maintain regular contact with family and friends. Arrange for daily check-ins via phone or text.
  2. Take advantage of local community resources like senior centers, which often offer transportation and social activities. When you live in one of our communities, you have access to activities with your neighbors.
  3. Keep a list of emergency contacts, including family, friends and healthcare providers, easily accessible.

Taking precautions will let you safely enjoy the winter months. If you have an aging loved one, check in on them regularly and ensure they have the supplies they need in the event there is a storm and they are housebound.

Visit a Baldwin House Senior Living community near you. Baldwin House Senior Living is built upon the strong foundation of guiding families and empowering seniors.

Baldwin House offers families peace of mind and gives active adults and seniors who call Baldwin House home the freedom to live their very best lives. Call us today to schedule a visit. We’d love to meet you or your loved one!