Over the past few editions and with the support of the Kilkenny Observer we have supplied our seniors’ tips on staying safe this winter. This week we wish to discuss the needs and safety of our community members who may have a disability. But first let’s talk about personal safety and staying safe this winter
Personal safety – staying safe
In icy weather, wear well-fitted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to go out but try to limit walking during the cold weather. Have your vision checked. Your eyesight changes as you get older; poor vision can increase your chances of falling
Advice on medication
As you get older you may need to change the dose of your medicines – check with your doctor. Some medicines or combinations of medicines may make you feel faint or light-headed which could lead to a fall.
Consider wearing a personal alarm so that family or neighbours are alerted if you fall. (If you do wish to discuss personal alarm for you or a family member please contact Twilight Community Seniors group 0567813105)
Eat regular hot meals and drink plenty of fluids, this will keep you warm and will give you energy to keep active. If you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you visit your doctor for a check-up.
So with our personal safety now in our minds let’s look at what we wish to chat about in this week’s edition.
Safety advice for people with disabilities
People with disabilities should plan for the possibility that winter weather may disrupt homecare services. In icy weather, wear well-fitted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to go out but try to limit walking outside during the cold weather.
If you use a mobility device make sure it can grip an icy surface and If you have a ramp make sure it is well gritted in icy weather
Winter ready health advice for people with disabilities
If your disability is affected by a drop-in temperature try and be aware of the weather forecast in order to allow you plan for pain management. Wear the correct number of layers to try and maintain your body temperature at the required level.
Individuals with reduced mobility should take extra measures to protect their hands, feet and other areas of the body that are particularly subject to cold. Eat well and avoid unnecessary travel. You should eat regular hot meals and drink plenty of fluids, this will keep you warm and will give you energy to keep active.
Ensure you have sufficient supplies of food and of any prescription medicine you may need. If you have some mobility try and keep active indoors. Have sufficient fuel supplies to maintain adequate heating in your home.
Ask your relatives and neighbours for help if you need it. Keep their phone numbers on a list beside your phone. If you cannot talk to people on the phone, make sure you have a relative or friend you can text for assistance if you need it, and register with the emergency services so you can contact them via text if necessary.
If you have to use medical equipment or a powered mobility device every day please make sure that you always have access to a power supply.
Ensure that you are on the vulnerable customer registers for the energy companies and Irish Water. If you have an assistance dog, be sure to keep them warm as well. Be sure to always have a blanket for the animal to rest on. Keep the animal indoors as much as possible.
Yes, Stay in contact. To keep our community members safe this winter, stay in touch with one another and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. We are all willing to help. Be a good neighbour.
If you have a mobile phone that you can use make sure it has a charge and bring it with you when you are going out. You should consider wearing a personal alarm so that family or neighbours are alerted if you fall. If you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you can visit your doctor for a check-up.
Next week we will continue our Twilight Tips to Stay Safe this winter
(Twilight is a registered Charity and Kilkenny’s Business Award winners for Diversity, Inclusion and Equality 2022).