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|Hudson Valley Press|
March 13th, 2017
Winter Safety Tips for Older New Yorkers
ALBANY - New
York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen reminds
older New Yorkers and caregivers to take precautions in winter weather,
as cold temperatures and heavy snow can create hazardous conditions for
snow, and cold temperatures can be a challenge for everyone, but can be
particularly dangerous for older adults, who need to be aware of what
they must do—or not do—to best protect their health,” said Olsen. “Many
older adults also have less social contact during winter months, which
can lead to loneliness and isolation. Neighbors and family members
should regularly check on older individuals to make sure they are
healthy and safe.”
Some health and safety considerations for older New Yorkers during winter months include:
Physical Activity/Falls Prevention/Isolation
with cardiac issues or high blood pressure should always follow
doctor's orders about shoveling or performing any strenuous outdoor
- Healthy adults should dress in warm layers and work slowly when doing outdoor chores.
extra precautions to reduce the risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
Dress appropriately. Don’t ignore early warnings signs, which include
shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, and slurred speech.
Shivering is an important first sign that the body is losing heat and a
signal to return indoors.
careful when clearing your car after a snowstorm. Sitting inside a
vehicle while the motor is running can become deadly if the tailpipe has
been blocked by snow or ice.
prevent falls, wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and
avoid icy walkways. Remove shoes as soon as you return indoors. Melted
snow on floors can lead to slippery conditions inside.
- To avoid social isolation and combat depression, older adults are encouraged to contact their local area agency on aging
to find a senior center in their community. In addition, a check-in
system, where someone regularly calls or looks in on an older family
member or neighbor can make a big difference in their lives.
Heat your Home Safely
- If you
use a fireplace, wood stove, or portable kerosene heater to stay warm,
be sure there is adequate ventilation to the outside. Without enough
fresh air, carbon monoxide fumes can build up in your home.
use a natural gas or propane stove/oven to heat your home. If you are
using a kerosene heater, use K-1 grade kerosene only. Never substitute
with fuel oil, diesel, gasoline or yellow (regular) kerosene.
- Follow all safety precautions when using wood stoves, space heaters, electric heaters, kerosene heaters, and pellet stoves.
adding fuel to a space heater, or wood to a wood stove or fireplace,
wear non-flammable gloves. Never add fuel to a space heater when it is
hot. The fuel can ignite, burning you and your home. Keep the heater
away from objects that can burn, such as furniture, rugs or curtains.
Governor Cuomo today issued a release today reminding New Yorkers that the deadline to apply for heating assistance is March 17. The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps low-income people pay the cost of heating their homes. For more information, please visit the HEAP website or call 1-800-342-3009.
Don't Be Left in the Dark - Weathering Floods, Storms and Power Outages,
developed by the New York State Department of Health, is a guide for
homeowners and others who want to prepare for power outages and other
consequences of severe weather events.
run a generator in your home or indoor spaces, such as garages,
basements, porches, crawlspaces or sheds, or in partly enclosed spaces
such as carports or breezeways. Generators should only be operated
outside, far away from (25 feet or more if possible) and downwind of
buildings. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid
fire and or carbon monoxide poisoning.
not exceed the rated capacity of your generator. Overloading your
generator can damage it and any appliances connected to it. Fire may
result. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Fuel spilled
on a hot generator can cause an explosion. If your generator has a
detachable fuel tank, remove it before refilling. If this is not
possible, shut off the generator and let it cool before refilling.
Additional cold weather tips are available on the New York State Department of Health website.
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