Sheriff Eric Watson recognizes that the freezing temperatures present unique hazards for senior citizens. The extremely cold weather produces higher risk of social isolation since many senior citizens want to avoid exposure to the frigid temperatures. Those senior citizens who choose to battle the cold risk a fall, in addition to health hazards with those who have weakened immune services, such as the flu and secondary infections.
Over the past few days, the sheriff office’s Public Service Unit has focused on visiting the homes of senior citizens throughout the community who live alone or have special needs during the dangerously cold temperatures.
Sheriff Watson stated, “On a daily basis volunteers who incorporate the Senior Citizen Visitation Unit perform check-ins with the elderly. However the sheriff’s office has increased visitations with seniors as a preventive measure of protection during the chilling weather. Our agency recognizes the various challenges weather poses for seniors and believes planned visitations by our personnel will help protect them.”
The sheriff’s office urges neighbors, friends and family to check on older individuals to ensure they are warm and safe. While everyone should take necessary precautions, elderly individuals are more at risk due to the extreme temperatures.
Following these tips will help senior citizens stay safe:
• Protect the skin during exposure to the cold weather
• Try not to be exposed to cold weather more than 20 minutes
• Wear multiple layers in addition to a hat to protect against heat loss and wetness
• Make sure the home is warm enough and precautionary measures are performed to avoid frozen pipes
• Avoid walking on ice or slippery surfaces to protect against falls and injuries
• Check on elderly neighbors or relatives to be sure they’re warm and safe
Anybody seeking further information about the agency’s Senior Visitation program and/or adding a senior citizen who can benefit from the scheduled visitations, should contact Patrol Captain Dennis Goins at 423-728-7300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.