Like it or not, here it comes again: winter, along with snow and ice in many parts of the country. As seniors we need to take extra steps to stay safe, warm and healthy during cold weather.
Investigate now whether your grocery store delivers. Groceries brought to your door can be a wonderful help when you can't get out. Also keep on hand a few days' worth of extra canned goods such as beans, fruits and vegetables, as well as cereals.
Start now to find indoor walking locations, especially if you get lots of snow and ice. Enclosed malls often open early to allow walkers. Look for local indoor tracks, perhaps as part of the parks and rec department. As incentive to keep to a routine, corral a few friends who also want to walk on a regular basis. If nothing else, use the aisles of the big box stores or ask about senior fees at the YMCA.
Remember to get out among people. It's healthier for us to have social connections so we don't feel isolated, which can lead to depression. Look for an interesting weekly group to join. Call others to check in on days you can't get out.
Check your supply of warm winter clothing. A hat, coat and gloves are a good place to start, followed by socks and a scarf. Remember to dress in loose layers that trap body heat. Hypothermia and frostbite can affect us faster than when we were younger. Put a thermometer outside your door or window so you know what to expect.
Be sure you have enough batteries and flashlights in case of a power outages.
Contact the National Energy Assistance Referral service at 1 (866) 674-6327 if you have trouble paying your heating bill, or think you will. Call them sooner rather than later, as many organizations have a set budget amount each year.