Reflections from Summit

Winter: A time for wonder, a time for watchfulness

When it snows, ain’t it thrillin’? Though your nose gets a chillin’. A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland.

Winter can indeed be a beautiful season—especially when it’s viewed through the window from an easy chair next to a cozy fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate on the table beside you. The pristine scenes of a snow covered landscape may even evoke happy memories of childhood such as sledding, ice skating, catching snowflakes on your tongue, making snow angels, building snow forts and snow men or even mixing fresh fallen snow with sugar, vanilla and milk to make snow cream.

As you reminisce about all the winter fun you had when you were a child, maybe you will also recall some of the less pleasant memories. Remember those black galoshes with the buckles that were impossible to close or being so bundled up against the cold that you couldn’t put your arms down like Ralphie’s little brother, Randy, in A Christmas Story? Or how about snow shoveling? And then there is the pungent smell and scratchy feel of wet wool mufflers and mittens. Ice and snow and cold temperatures may indeed create opportunities for fun, but they also can make life challenging for anyone at any age. They may be especially problematic for those who were around when Winter Wonderland was first published in 1934 or when one of the most popular versions of this classic seasonal song was recorded by the Andrews Sisters in 1946.

No matter what your age there are some common sense precautions that you should take to stay safe in winter. Sidewalks and roads covered with ice and snow are dangers that don’t pay attention to the number of candles on your birthday cake. Anyone can slip and fall. But while young people can usually bounce back swiftly, older folks who fracture a hip may or bonk their head not get better as rapidly.

Some common sense ideas include wearing shoes with non-skid soles and good traction and replacing worn cane tips. It’s also good idea to take off your shoes as soon as you are inside because snow and ice that melts can make indoor floors as slippery as an icy sidewalk. And speaking of indoor issues, it’s important not to let indoor temperatures go too low even if you’re worried about the heating bill.

As with other winter issues, driving can be perilous for anyone, but it can be particularly risky for people who might not be driving as much they did when they were younger. Make sure that your tires are safe for winter roads and that windshield wipers are working properly. If your car is not garage kept, adding isopropyl alcohol to windshield washer fluid can help keep it from freezing in frigid weather. And if you are lucky enough to keep your car in a garage, here’s another tip that may save your life—especially if you have a newer model car that starts with an ignition button instead of with a car key. Always double check to make sure that your car is really off when you push that button.

For dozens of other safety tips that will help protect you and your loved ones during inclement weather, visit But if you’d reached that stage in life where you are looking for a place to call home where you know you will be safe and secure because you’d rather not worry about the hazards of winter weather, you may want to consider Summit of Uptown, a senior living community in Park Ridge.

A premier retirement destination—already well-known throughout the area for offering the best of Independent Living and personalized Assisted Living—Summit has launched the new Memory Care Neighborhood specializing in caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments. After 33 years of providing services to our senior population, Summit looks forward to this new chapter in its history where it will now provide a continuum of care that will meet the needs of our seniors at all levels of care.

As you stay safe on your life journey wherever it may take you no matter what the season, I invite you to visit in person at or call 847-825-1161 to find out more about programs, activities, services, and amenities at Summit of Uptown, which has been providing quality services for seniors for more than 30 years.