It’s winter in the Coastal Bend. Even though we may not get snow, it is still important to know life survival tips to get you through the season.
Many people with disabilities either cannot care for themselves or need help to do so. It is important to know how to stay warm and what they need to do that.
People who have circulation problems or who cannot move by themselves are very vulnerable to frostbite. One thing you can do to help prevent this is to have outdoor activities in the warmest part of the day. Protect the feet, hands, pelvic areas, and head by layering extra clothes and covering with a blanket. If the person uses a wheelchair, a blanket should be placed around the pelvic area and time outdoors should be limited. Service animals should wear a coat or sweater and boots on their paws when it is very cold outside.
Remember that in freezing weather, mobility aids such as walkers and canes can collect ice on the tips, making walking with them risky. Wheelchairs should use dirt bike type tires while outside in rainy, icy and snowy weather so traction is available. Use regular wheels when inside.
Leave water taps on a slow drip, use electric space heaters with an automatic shut-off switch, and keep all heating sources at least 3 feet from furniture. Make sure smoke alarms are in working order, have a working carbon monoxide detector, and avoid using candles.
Other things you can do to prepare for winter:
Creating a safety plan of action for dealing with severe weather situations will ensure a better chance of safety and good health for your loved ones. Check out How to Keep Children & Adults with Special Needs Warm in the Winter for more ideas.
The older my son gets, the more I realize that he is routine driven. Wake up is at the exact same time. Meals have to be at the exact same time. Naps have to be at the exact same time. We can deviate from the routine slightly, provided that the deviation isn’t severe…but for the most part, we are driven by routine.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the impact my son’s disability has on my older, neurotypical son.