Best Ways for Seniors to Prepare for the Cold Weather Season
Canada is known for its winters, and while the degree of snow varies across the country, no matter where you live, you’ll be experiencing colder temps in the coming months. Seniors especially should prepare themselves for the drop in temperatures, as being unprepared for getting caught out in the cold can lead to hypothermia and frostbite with serious medical complications.
Tips to Prepare for Colder Temperatures
The first thing you can do is be aware of the weather forecast! Whether it’s the app on your phone or listening to the daily news report, you can count on Environment Canada to let you know about possible wind chill warnings, potential snowfalls, and other factors. You can also find a list of online weather information here as well as on the official Government of Canada Canadian Weather website.
Once you know the forecast, you can plan ahead! This can include:
· Dress in layers—shirt, sweater, and coat, plus a toque, gloves, and scarf. Keep an extra coat, blanket, and other cold-weather accessories in the car just in case. Your outer layer should preferably be wind and water-resistant, if not completely repellant for those especially damp days. Warm and waterproof footwear is also essential!
· Plan your outdoor activities (like walking the dog or running errands) for forecasted warmer temps during the day.
· Ensure your cell phone is fully charged before heading outdoors or driving anywhere.
· Stock up on food, necessary medications, and essentials if your area is expecting a snowfall and a drop in temperature, so you don’t have to get caught out in the cold.
Try to stay dry as much as possible, which means removing wet clothing as well as removing outer layers when you’re sweating. And stay active! Moving keeps your body temperature regulated and will help you generate body heat.
Beyond your personal routine, winterizing your home, garden and car is recommended to avoid stressors such as frozen pipes or getting caught in your car during a snowstorm.
A few tips to help winterize your surroundings include:
· Create an emergency supply pack for your car. Check out this handy-dandy list from Bob Vila for ideas on what to include.
· Proper winter tires are essential for safety on the road!
· Bundle your errands and outings to minimize time on slippery roads.
· Clean out your gutters and wrap exposed pipes to prevent back-ups and freezing.
· Seal gaps in the windows and doors to prevent drafts.
· Use a humidifier to combat central heating from drying you out.
For a more in-depth list of how to prepare your home, vehicle and for emergencies, see this complete list from the CDC. And remember, especially as a senior, never be afraid to ask for help! A little shoveling is a great way to get some exercise, but you can also schedule someone to come do snow removal for the heavy loads to avoid over exertion. Never push-start a stalled car by yourself, either.
The Government of Canada has a website dedicated for ways to Get Prepared for a variety of situations. You can view all of their best suggestions here.