Pennsylvania is home to more than 1.9 million people older than 65.
The Keystone State has a higher percentage of adults older than 65 than the national average (15.4 percent vs. 12.9 percent).
And Pennsylvania ranks second in the country behind Florida in terms of population age 65 and older.
Pennsylvania also has its share of bad winters that can easily put an elderly person at risk for harm.
It's not unusual to see an uptick in broken hips and other injuries to the elderly during the winter months.
Protecting the health of our elderly population is always important no matter what time of the year it is, but especially during harsh winter months when they can be very vulnerable to harm.
The Institute for Good Medicine offers these tips for older adults:
If you must shovel snow, push it, don't lift and toss. Pace yourself, too.
If the snow accumulates too high to push, find help to remove it.
It only takes a second to slip when going outside. Carry a cell phone in your pocket.
Stay warm. And in doing so, make sure the chimney has been cleaned and carbon monoxide detectors properly work in your house. Do you have enough oil, propane or coal?
Make sure you have a good supply of all medications so that you don't have to worry about running out during a snowstorm.
Similarly, make sure you have a good supply of food.
If you use a cane to walk, make sure the rubber tip is not worn.
Winter can be harsh on skin care. Make sure you use moisturizers.
Exercise still is important in the winter, but you should consider doing so indoors to avoid the harsh outdoor elements.
Most falls actually occur inside, so try to have clutter-free hallways and walking areas inside your house or apartment along with good lighting.
And, here are some thoughts for those with an elderly neighbor:
Check on your elderly neighbor periodically to make sure they're OK.
If it snows, help them clear their walkways.
If you are running out to the grocery story, ask your elderly neighbor if there's anything you can pick up for them.
If your elderly neighbor has a doctor's appointment, ask them if they need a ride.
Moran is director for the Institute for Good Medicine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society.