Yes, winter is still here, despite the predictions from Punxsutawney Phil. And it will soon show that spring may yet be a long way away when Winter Storm Rocky arrives in our area this afternoon.
Here are some practical tips for seniors, in anticipation of this latest blast of cold, wintry weather:
• Layer your clothing, being sure to watch fingers and toes for over exposure to the cold.
• Stay active: low impact activities or light household chores are good ways to stay mobile.
• Eat well and drink plenty of water. Keep your body hydrated and fueled!
• Arrange to have others plow and/or shovel the snow and ice from your driveways, sidewalks, ramps, and around entry doors. The strain from the cold and hard labor can cause health issues like muscle and joint strains and tears, stroke, and heart attack. And falling on the ice can lead to painful bruises and even broken bones.
• Make sure you and your family know how to turn off the water supply in case the pipes freeze and then burst.
• Be aware of the dangers of overloading outlets and extension cords. Keep space heaters at least three (3) feet from flammable objects. Have a fire extinguisher in a convenient place and read the directions to make sure you know how to use it. Check the batteries on fire alarms and make sure they are in good working condition.
• Check your carbon monoxide detector and replace the batteries if necessary.
• Prepare your vehicle: check wipers/tires/lights/fluid levels; keep a windshield scraper/small broom for ice and snow removal inside near your door; and maintain at least a half tank of gas, although a full tank is preferable.
• Plan only necessary trips outside during snowy weather and use extra caution. Travel during the day, let someone know where you are going, when you expect to arrive and about what time you will return, and take at least one other person with you if possible.
Spring will be here soon. In the meantime, stay safe!