Winter Tips for Home Healthcare Specialists & Their Patients $0.00

Winter Tips for Home Healthcare Specialists & Their Patients

By: | Jan 13, 2020
Winter Tips for Home Healthcare Specialists & Their Patients

Snow storms, icy roads and walkways, and other winter weather can make traveling to your patients more difficult during the colder months. But your patients are relying on your help as they recover, rehabilitate, learn new skills, and reduce their pain.

Make sure you and your patients stay safe with these tips for home healthcare specialists.

Before You Go Out to See Patients, Don’t Forget…
Winter Car Safety Tips

    While Driving
    If you get stuck…
Share These Winter Safety Tips with Your Patients

    Indoors
    Outdoors
Before You Leave Your Patient’s Home, Don’t Forget…

Before You Go Out to See Patients, Don’t Forget…


Man cleaning car

  • Do an assessment
    • Check the weather conditions on your phone or listen to the news. Don’t drive if you think the conditions are too hazardous.
    • Do a visual assessment of your car before you hit the road. Check your fuel gauge, tire pressure, lights, and wipers. Have your car serviced regularly to make sure everything is in good condition.
  • Switch out your regular tires for snow tires, if needed.
  • Clear off excess snow on your windshield and the top of your car. Make sure your wipers are free from any snow or ice.
  • Make sure someone else knows your schedule, including your route, destination, and estimated time of arrival.
  • Pack an emergency kit to keep in your car. Add things like:
  • Extra food and water
  • Warm clothing
  • Blankets
  • A flashlight
  • Medications
  • A glass scraper, snow brush, and shovel
  • A first aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Brightly colored cloth (to make your car more visible)
  • A car phone charger
  • Duct tape
  • Cat litter for traction
  • Rain poncho
  • Emergency contact information
    • In case of emergency contact
    • Towing company phone number
    • Your auto insurance provider
  • If you’re feeling sleepy, consider waiting until the weather is better before leaving.
  • Put your destination in your GPS before you leave, even if you’re familiar with the area. It can offer detours in the event of road closures, accidents, or traffic.
  • When in doubt, if possible, stay home.

Winter Car Safety Tips


Traffic

While Driving

  • Make sure you know if your car has an ABS (anti-lock braking system). If you start to skid, how you should respond depends on your braking system.[1]
    • Non-ABS: Place your heel on the floor and apply firm pressure with your foot to the “threshold” of locking your brakes. Continue to steer as you pump your brakes at a medium speed.
    • ABS: Brake hard and continue steering. The brake may vibrate. This is normal. Do not remove your foot from the brake or pump the brake.
  • Accelerate slowly to avoid spinning out of control.
  • Watch out for ice!
    • Black ice is transparent and dangerous. Look for signs like ice forming on mirrors, vehicle antennae, or upper corners’ of your windshield. Slow down when going over black ice.
    • Bridges, exit ramps, and tunnels often get icy before main roads. Drive slowly while on these surfaces.
  • Go hands-free when making calls and don’t text while driving.
  • Leave extra following distance between your car and other vehicles to avoid an accident.
  • Don’t use cruise control when roads are slippery.
  • When going up a hill, don’t apply extra gas - this will make your wheels spin. But make sure you don’t stop, either. Instead, get some inertia on a flat road before you get to the hill and let it carry you to the top.

    If you get stuck…

    • Stay with your car
    • Tie a bright cloth to your car’s antenna or attach at the top of your rolled up window to increase your visibility to rescuers
    • Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow and ice, so carbon monoxide doesn’t build up in your vehicle.
    • Stay warm and conserve your fuel by running the engine just long enough to reduce the chill and using blankets from your emergency kit. If needed, use floor mats, newspapers, etc. to stay warm.

    Share These Winter Safety Tips with Your Patients


    Holding hands

    Indoors

    • Have your patients test the batteries in their smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.
    • Recommend your patients eat and drink well-balanced warm meals. An insulated mug for coffee, hot chocolate, or tea and an insulated bowl for soup can help your patients stay safe and warm.
    • Help your patients prepare for power outages and storms by ensuring they have food, bottled water, flashlights, medication, and other necessary supplies.
    • Remind seniors over 65 of the risk of flu complications and the importance of flu shots, hand washing, and hand sanitizing.
    • In the winter months, it can be hard for patients to get enough exercise. Simple exercises using equipment like a TheraBand CLX Resistance Band or a Cubii pedal elliptical can help them stay active throughout the colder months.

    Outdoors

    • Make sure your patients have warm winter clothing including coats, socks, gloves, hats, and scarves. Sock aids and button hooks can help your patients put on warm socks and button their coats to ward off the chill during winter months.
    • Minimize slips and falls in snowy, icy months by sharing fall prevention safety tips with your patients.
    • Remind your patients to salt their walkways to reduce slips on ice. If they use a cane or crutches, an ice tip attachment can help provide support while walking on icy surfaces.
    • Make sure your patients have a plan for snowfall, whether its teaching them the best mechanics for shovelling or ensuring they have a service set up to clear their sidewalks and driveways.

    Before You Leave Your Patient’s Home, Don’t Forget…


    Woman cleaning car

    You should follow the same steps as before when you left your own home. Make sure you clear any snow or ice off your car, check your fuel level to ensure you have enough gas to get to your next appointment or your home, put your destination in your GPS, and make sure someone knows where you’re heading next.

    By following these winter tips you can help ensure you and your patients are safe this winter!

    Resources

    1. https://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/Assets/PDFs/HowtogoIceandSnow.pdf

    Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

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