As leaves begin to flutter to the ground and the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air, we know that fall is undeniably upon us. Each season comes with a unique set of challenges concerning safety and health, so we thought we’d share some tips on keeping older adults safe in autumn.
- Fall-Proofing: In the last few days, it seems like the leaves have heard their cue to begin cascading to the ground. It’s a gorgeous time, but it can sometimes create a slippery mosaic on sidewalks and paths, especially for people with mobility issues. Ensure walkways around your home, and your loved one’s homes, are kept clear of foliage and debris. Also consider investing in shoes with good traction. Families, care partners and neighbors — please consider lending a hand by sweeping and raking front walkways and neighborhood sidewalks. Keeping these walkways clear is a huge help for older adults and people with disabilities in your community.
- Dressing for Weather Changes: The temperature can be unpredictable during the fall, especially in Northern Nevada. Mornings have been chilly, while afternoons have been warm! So,dressing in layers is key this season. Lightweight, warm clothing that can be easily added or removed allows for flexibility and comfort. Don’t forget to bring a sweater!
- Home Safety: Did you know that the majority of accidents occur at home? It’s essential to ensure living spaces are well-lit and free of tripping hazards. Also, because we’re all starting to use our heaters on chilly mornings and cold nights, be sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning correctly. It’s so important as we start spending more time inside this fall and throughout the winter season.
- Mental Health: Did you know daylight saving time ends at 2 am on Sunday, Nov. 5, with clocks moving back one hour? Those shorter days and longer nights can lead to feelings of isolation or sadness, a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Mental health is just as important as physical safety, and they are often interconnected.Here ares a few tips to help with SAD this autumn:
- Stay connected with loved ones, whether through phone calls, texts, video chats or in-person visits.
- Try to stick to your routine and stay active.
- Get as much natural light as possible.
- Nutrition: A healthy diet plays a significant role in overall well-being, helping to bolster the immune system, maintain energy levels, and support cognitive function. Enjoy the fall harvests by incorporating some colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet, and don’t forget to stay hydrated!
- COVID-19 and Flu Shots: Getting vaccinated is a small but critical step in protecting your health, especially for older adults.
We understand this can be a lot to manage, especially for our Neighbors with additional needs due to disabilities. Please remember, you’re not alone. There’s a whole community here supporting you. Whether you need help clearing walkways, setting up your home, getting to medical appointments for those flu shots, or just need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out. That’s what we’re here for.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy everything this beautiful season has to offer!