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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > Avoid Senior Safety Hazards By Spending The Winter In Florida

Avoid Senior Safety Hazards By Spending The Winter In Florida


Native Floridians get tired of hearing about how they are missing out on the change of seasons.  Who needs autumn leaves, winter snow, and spring allergens when you can have year-round sunshine?  Those of us who have lived up north have a more nuanced view on the matter.  Yes, setting out for trick-or-treating as the sun sets behind the colorful leaves is magical, but the gray snow piled up on the curb gets old quickly.  It’s no fun to trudge to work in below freezing temperatures when it is still dark outside and you can barely see the icy patches on the sidewalk.  It is even less fun to try to get your work done at home because your kids have a snow day from school, or even worse, to try to keep them out of trouble at your workplace because you still needed to report to work on a snow day.  The winter in temperate climates can be annoying when you are of working age, but it is downright dangerous for elderly people who live alone.  If you plan on aging in place, the northern United States is not the place to do it, and a Tampa estate planning lawyer can help you build an estate plan where you can spend most of the year in Florida, away from the hazards of winter.

Why Winter Weather Is So Dangerous for Seniors

Long weeks of gray skies and freezing temperatures are a bummer for everyone, but they are especially hazardous for seniors.  Winter weather exacerbates several factors that are already hazardous to the physical and mental health of elderly people, especially those that live alone:

  • Fall risks – Seniors are at an elevated risk of suffering an accidental fall, no matter the weather. Snowy and icy walkways increase this risk exponentially.  Unless you live in an assisted living facility or with younger relatives who can shovel and salt the walkways for you, there is a long, slippery journey separating you from the outside world for weeks on end.
  • Hyperthermia – Every year, at least a few people in the United States die from exposure to cold temperatures. The highest risk group is homeless people, but elderly people who live alone are the second highest risk group.  Your temperature perception gets less sharp as you age, so you might not even realize how cold it is in your apartment.  If you are snowed in, it is hard to get to someplace warmer, and if you have mobility impairments, it may be hard to adjust the thermostat.
  • Isolation – Loneliness is detrimental to the health of everyone, especially seniors. Elderly people’s mental health can worsen in the winter when they have little contact with other people.  Seniors are also at risk of malnutrition if they have no one to help them with grocery shopping or meal preparation.

Contact David Toback About Making Florida Your Official Residence

A Central Florida probate lawyer can help you make Florida your legal domicile so that you can avoid the hazards of the Northern winter.  Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.



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