Cold winter months are especially difficult for older adults. The Loudoun County Department of Family Services and Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging are urging residents to check in on older adults in their community. Plummeting temperatures pose a number of challenges when attempting essential tasks such as grocery shopping, obtaining medications and attending doctor visits. Winter weather also increases older adults’ risk of falls, hypothermia, and accidents associated with shoveling snow, driving, and just being outside in general.
When assessing the safety of an older adult, ensure that there is sufficient food, water, heat and medications; be aware of any vital medical equipment powered by electricity during a power failure; verify that carbon monoxide detectors are working; inspect walkers and canes, checking to see if rubber tips need replacing; and ensure that the individual has an accessible phone and emergency numbers readily available.
Glenda Blake, director of the Department of Family Services, states “There are many isolated and vulnerable older adults in our community without family support. Please join us in helping our neighbors to be safe and secure during the winter months." Adds Area Agency on Aging Director Dr. Lynn Reid, “Programs and services, including snow shoveling, home delivered meals and dementia care, may be available for your neighbor or loved one.”
If you are concerned about an older adult who may be at risk, contact the Loudoun County Department of Family Services at 703-777-0437 for assistance. For information on improving quality of life and maintaining independence for older adults, contact the Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging at 703-777-0257.