The chilly temperatures we’re starting to feel are a welcome break from the sweltering heat of summer, but they are also a preview of what’s to come as the year draws to a close. While we are gathered with our families over the holidays, it is prudent to winterize not only our homes but also our safety planning, especially where Birmingham seniors are concerned.
Even here in the Deep South, the winter months can present many hazards, from flash flooding dangers to the rare but occasional blizzard. Many will remember the storm of 1993 when Birmingham got 13 inches of snow with drifts as deep as 5 to 6 feet in the metro area. We were lucky – some areas of the state were blanketed by as much as 20 inches of the white stuff. Across the country, more than 10 million households lost electricity and 318 people died.
Now, imagine a repeat scenario in 2016 with a senior loved one, possibly homebound parent. Would an adult child caregiver be able to get to them with roads paralyzed? With power and phone lines down, would the senior be able to stay warm and communicate with the outside world? Would they be okay without access to the pharmacy or the grocery store?
We don’t mention these things to scare anyone, but rather, to encourage preventative action now, while the weather is still relatively mild compared to the middle of wintertime.
Our seniors are so precious, and their caregivers have a responsibility to look after their wellbeing. This is a duty we take very seriously at Regency Retirement Village, where our residents enjoy many quality of life aspects that aren’t always available to those aging in place in their individual homes.
At Regency Retirement Village, we look after our residents’ physical and mental wellbeing. Unlike a senior citizen living alone, our residents share a community with many activities to stimulate their minds and opportunities for making new friends. During and after the holidays, the isolated senior may feel sadness knowing mobility issues prevent them from getting as much companionship as they may crave. Regency residents take part in the holidays by decorating doors with festive displays and receiving both entertainers and visitors.
Unlike the senior who may risk driving on icy roads just to attend church, Regency residents enjoy fellowship in-house and have transportation available for doctor visits, plus social outings to restaurants and stores. We remove a lot of stress that seniors and their families might feel when thinking about shoveling away snow from their driveways or repairing leaky roofs, not to mention the risks of slipping and falling on difficult-to-see ice on sidewalks.
For those seniors who rely on a family caregiver outside of their home to help them in times of need, Regency hopes the families will take this time to reach out to a neighbor who is willing to check on them when dangerous weather threatens. The senior’s home also needs a critical going-over to make sure there’s proper ventilation for heating sources, as well as adequate food, water and medications in case your senior loved one is snowbound for several days, cut off from the outside world.
It is comforting to know that when frail loved ones are endangered by the elements, a resource like Regency exists to give families peace of mind. To find out more about moving an aging parent to Assisted Living, call (205) 942-3355 and let our caring staff at Regency Retirement Village schedule a free consultation. Short-term accommodations are available for any snowbirds from the north who wish to spend the winter months in the South.