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Autumn Weather, and the Dangers It Presents to the Elderly

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 17-Nov-2017

Many of us look forward to the end of summer—the cooler autumn temperatures, the changing leaves, the chance to pull that favorite sweater out of storage, and so on. However, autumn also brings a few unique risks and dangers to our elderly neighbors and loved ones. What are some of these risks, and how can we take steps to protect the elderly during this season?

Fallen Leaves

Bright fall colors can be beautiful, but when the leaves fall to the ground, they can present a hazard for slips and falls, especially when it rains. To reduce the risk, clear walkways regularly of fallen leaves using a blower or broom, and be sure to rake and bag up the leaves falling on lawns and gardens. Seniors can also protect themselves by wearing shoes with good traction.

Frost/Ice

Frost on the grass can be quite dangerous for the elderly, especially those prone to falling. Likewise, puddles on sidewalks can develop a film of black ice. Take extra time to escort the elderly if they need to go out on cold mornings. Shoes or boots with good traction can also help. Better yet, wait a couple of hours until the sun melts the frost.

Heaters/Fireplaces

Using a heater or fireplace for the first time in autumn may be dangerous for people of all ages, but especially for the elderly who have slower response times or may become disoriented. Have your elderly love ones’ heating systems inspected by a professional before first use, and have chimneys inspected and/or swept to remove any possible obstructions. Additionally, install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor, and test them regularly.

Flu

Many people these days underestimate the dangers of influenza, particularly for the elderly. As flu season approaches, make sure your senior loved ones get their annual flu vaccine—and don’t forget to get one yourself. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans, and pharmacies and grocery stores often make them available at a low cost.

The elderly aren’t the only ones who may be vulnerable in colder weather. Check out our post here to learn about keeping the kids safe, too.

If you or a loved one is hurt due to negligence related to the weather, call our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys to see how we can help.

Categories: Personal Injury
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