As children, we earerly anticipate any weather forecast that includes the word "snow"! We watch the skies, praying for those first white flakes that signal school closures and hours of sledding and snowball fights. For children, snow is cause for celebration. For working adults, snowfalls mean shoveling off driveways and walkways, loss of income because of lost hours of work, and the inconvenience winter weather brings on many fronts. But for the seniors throughout our community, a forecast of snow may be much worse.
Seniors who are dealing with mobility issues find the icy weather more than a simple inconvenience. It can mean not getting to a doctor's appointment, or being unable to go to the store for food or medications. And if the snow turns to ice on walkways or the driveway, it can mean days or weeks of becoming homebound simply because it is impossible to get the car down the driveway. Seniors who need caregivers to come regularly for companion or personal care are sometimes unable to receive the much-needed assistance if those caregivers cannot drive in the weather, or cannot reach their client's home even days later because neighborhood streets have not been plowed.
This winter, our area received several significant snowfalls during February. It seemed every week we had more snow falling! While most Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiverssm do get to their client assignments, many because our office staff gets out in 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles and takes our CAREGivers to their assignments, there are many seniors in our community that don't get the help they need when the weather turns bad.
Hopefully all the snow is behind us now, but please be aware of your senior neighbors as the weather begins to warm up. Maybe offer to pick up sticks in their yard, or take a pretty bunch of flowers over to "hurry up" spring for them. Make sure steps are clear and walkways unobstructed. And, if (God forbid!) we should get any late-season snowfalls, how about offering to shovel a walkway or de-ice the stoop. It could make the difference between keeping your neighbor, or losing them to the ER with a broken bone, or worse!
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