Winter Is Upon Us, Avoid Its Hazards!

What typically comes along with the gradual changing of seasons, from fall to winter?  It gets colder! The temperature drops to freezing, and when it drops, we get ice. So, not only are we dealing with the cold weather, but we have to watch for ice, and then snow. 

Older adults are more susceptible to the repercussions of old man winter. We can’t avoid these automatic hazards, but we can take precautions against them. Here are a few ways to stay safe during the changing of the seasons. 

Frostbite and Hypothermia: Older adults who find themselves outside during cold temperatures should make sure to dress warmly and avoid being outside for long periods of time. Dropping temperatures can cause frostbite and hypothermia. In some instances, hypothermia can even occur indoors if the temperature in the home isn’t warm enough, so thermostats should be kept above 65 degrees. 

Falls: Ice poses a greater risk for falls for seniors. It’s important to wear shoes with appropriate traction, take steps, and concrete slow, and be sure to salt walkways. If a fall occurs, make sure you have a cell phone in reach to call for help as soon as possible. 

Driving: Avoid driving during hazardous conditions; ice and snow can present major dangers on the road. If you need to drive during dangerous road conditions, drive safely and be sure to have a kit in the car that includes blankets, food, and a flashlight, in case you are stranded. 

Flu Season: Getting vaccinated early in the season can help seniors avoid the risk of contracting the flu. Seniors are more susceptible to greater complications that can come with the flu, due to their weaker immune systems. A senior developing the flu can lead to other infections such as pneumonia, or lead to hospitalization. 

Dementia and Sundowning: Those who are affected by Alzheimer’s or Dementia can experience Sundowners Syndrome. During evening hours, those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can see an increase in agitation, anger, confusion and memory loss. During winter time, sundowning can become more frequent so it’s important for those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia to follow a schedule to help ease the symptoms. 

Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a real thing, and many people experience it’s symptoms during winter time. They have a decrease in energy or mood, they stop leaving the house, and there’s a decline in physical activity Prevent the winter blues by keeping active, exercise daily and open curtains or blinds during the day to let natural light in. 

Find Safety During the Upcoming Winter Months 

Each of these hazards can bring treacherous consequences during the cold weather, especially for those living alone. It may be time to start looking for an Independent or Assisted Living to provide safety for you or your loved one this winter. Courtyard Communities has various locations that can provide services to avoid these winter hazards and provide peace of mind for families. 

Courtyard Communities offers different levels of care for an individualized care free lifestyle. Courtyard Communities, in various locations, includes independent, assisted and assisted living memory care. 

Independent Living 

Independent Living can provide socialization, transportation, home-made meals daily, housekeeping and laundry services, security and more. Choosing to move to an independent living can help you become more active and expand your social life with the daily activities and outings that are offered, including card clubs, church groups, and exercise programs. 

Use Independent living as a way to stay on your feet and maintain your independence. Therapy services are offered at our various locations and can help keep you strong and active. Visit our independent living locations in Kewanee, at Courtyard Village or in Havana, at Riverview Estates. 

Assisted Living 

Assisted Living includes all of the services that are available with independent living, but our staff is trained to provide assistance with everyday living activities, including dressing, bathing, personal grooming, and medication management. Our nurses on staff can help with administering medications, while providing education and reminders. 

Our communities can offer respite stays and adult day care services, that can give caregivers some relief, prevent isolation during the cold weather, and help ease the transition from home to assisted living. 

Visit our Assisted Living locations in Monmouth, Farmington, Knoxville, Bushnell, Canton, Galva, Kewanee, and Bradford. 

Courtyard Communities offers Supportive Living options, for those who have Medicaid Insurance. Legacy Estates in Monmouth and Courtyard Estates of Canton both offer this option for seniors in their communities. Visit these locations for more information on Supportive Living. 

Assisted Living Memory Care—Betty’s Garden

Assisted Living Memory Care provides memory care programming, for those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s in a safe and secured environment. Betty’s Garden programming is tailored to the individual and focuses on engagement and activities. Each tenant is provided individualized care and our programming is introduced to improve or maintain their quality of life. Our technology that is provided in each of our locations has helped tenants reminisce with photos and videos, keep them connected to their loved ones out of state through Skype capabilities, and it has kept them safe through a secured system and security cameras in high traffic areas. 

Betty’s Garden is located within a few of our Independent/Assisted Living Communities, including Courtyard Estates of Knoxville, Courtyard Estates of Bushnell, and Courtyard Estates of Farmington. 

Courtyard Communities opened the first stand alone Betty’s Garden Memory Care last year, in Kewanee. 

Consult with your primary care provider on the most appropriate level of care for you or your loved one. Stay safe against the hazards of old man winter, contact one of our Courtyard Communities today and take advantage of various programs, including respite stays and adult day care services. 

Call today at 309-351-9818 for more information, visit us at, or on Facebook at Courtyard Communities.

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