It’s winter and that means unless you live in southern Florida or Hawaii, there’s always a risk of having to deal with ice. When you’re concerned about senior home safety, then you want to make sure that you take a moment to consider what ice can do to the home, to the walkways, and even to the gutters of the home. If your loved one lives in a condo or apartment complex, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about ice during the winter.
Just because a property manager is supposed to tend to these things, that doesn’t mean that they actually do. There are plenty of property managers who don’t get out salting the walkways, clearing the steps, or bothering with much of anything until after someone slips and falls. So it’s a good idea to take the time to consider this important aspect of senior home safety.
It doesn’t need to be cold during the day for ice to form. If the temperature drops below freezing, even if it’s only a degree or two, then thin sheets of ice can form on sidewalks and parking areas. Black Ice is known as the type of ice that may appear to be nothing more than a wet area on blacktop, but is actually solid ice. You step on it thinking that it’s only water and you can take a hard fall as a result.
Many people have suffered from serious injuries due to slipping on ice that they simply didn’t see, or that they thought was nothing more than a little water. For elderly individuals, any ice can lead to serious risks, including being knocked unconscious, which is what happened to my grandfather many years ago. He was closing up the church where he attended, having done a favor for the minister late at night, when he slipped on black ice. He hit his head and by the time my grandmother, who had been waiting in the car, realized he’d been gone too long, he was lying in the cold for more than 45 minutes. He ended up having congestive heart failure as a result.
It’s important that you make sure that all areas are safe to walk on whenever possible during the winter and if there is any question about whether an area is icy or just plain wet, err on the side of caution and assume that it’s ice. This senior home safety tip could just save a life.