Are your elderly neighbors safe this winter?

The Area Agency on Aging says the elderly and disabled are particularly at risk in frigid temperatures


LIBERTY TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – With dangerously cold weather returning, don’t forget to check on your elderly friends and neighbors.

Experts say older people and the disabled are more at risk in these type of weather conditions.

Many people have signed up for ‘senior watch’ programs, and others are visited almost daily by meal services.

Lisa Solley, with the Area Agency on Aging, says it doesn’t hurt to check on someone’s welfare, especially as this cold weather rolls in.

“Introduce yourself. Just go to them and ask, do you have enough food? Do you have enough water? Do you have non-perishable food, in case the electricity goes out?” she said.

Many seniors don’t have family nearby who can make sure they’re secure, so Solley says it’s important for everyone to be a good neighbor.

The Area Agency on Aging also recommends that senior citizens call someone to shovel their snow and limit travel in frigid conditions. The agency says it is also important to identify an emergency contact and have it posted by a phone.

The agency offered the following tips when traveling in the snow:

  • Dress Defensively – Bundle up, but make sure you can see in all directions and move easily and freely. Wear sturdy shoes or boots with good treads. Wear sunglasses to reduce glare on surfaces.
  • Walk Wisely – Slow down and pay attention to how and where you’re walking. Allow extra time to get to where you’re going. Keep sidewalks and stairs outside your home clean of ice and snow, and keep cords and clutter out of walkways inside.
  • Pack Power – Carry a small baggie of salt, sand or kitty litter in your coat for traction on icy paths. Replace worn rubber tips on canes, walkers and crutches.
  • Keep Connected – Carry a cell phone and designate someone to call for help if you need it. Let loved ones know when you are leaving the house and when you expect to be back; call them after you return home.
  • Healthy Habits – Do some light stretching before you venture out. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, which can affect your balance. Stay active all winter to maintain strength and balance.

Liberty Township has a Senior Watch program. The township is asking volunteers to sign up. To do so, or learn more about the program, go to Liberty Township’s website. 

The Boardman Township Police Department and Fire Department, with the support of the Township Trustees, also offer a Care Call program to Boardman residents — in particular, the elderly or disabled.

Once someone is enrolled in the program, they will receive phone calls and specified days and times. They can respond by punching in a button. If they don’t, a process begins to make sure nothing is wrong.

To learn more, visit Boardman Township’s website. 

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