Recent cold temperatures and predictions of snow accumulations are just a preview of what Old Man Winter will likely bring when he blows into town Saturday, Dec. 21.
For a variety of reasons, older adults often have a harder time adjusting during extreme conditions than younger people do. The Ohio Department of Aging encourages all Ohioans to check in on older neighbors and loved ones during severe weather to ensure that they have the resources they need to stay safe and healthy.
Ways to help include:
Do a risk assessment:
• Does he or she depend on oxygen?
• Does he or she need help walking? Does he or she need help getting to the bathroom?
• Has he or she fallen?
•Does he or she need medical attention?
Check vital supplies:
• Does he or she have access to clean drinking water?
• Does he or she have the ability to cook and safely store food?
• Does he or she have access to healthy, non-perishable food that can be prepared without electricity?
• Does he or she have adequate means to keep the temperature in the home in a comfortable range?
• Does he or she have access to an adequate supply of any prescription or over-the-counter medications to maintain his or her health?
• Can he or she safely store and access his or her medications (some may need to be refrigerated or stored on ice)?
Evaluate access to help:
• Does he or she have access to a phone that works, even if the power goes out (cordless phones and voice-over-IP service may not work during a power outage)?
• If he or she has a cell phone for emergencies, is the phone sufficiently charged?
Instead of asking, “do you have someone to call if you need help?” questions such as, “show me how you would call your daughter if you need her to come help” will be more effective.
More tips and resources for checking on loved ones and friends are available on the department's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/OhioDepartmentOfAging.