5 Safety and Health Tips for Seniors in Winter
The winter months can bring some health-related challenges and risks, especially for the elderly as they are vulnerable to injury and illness in cold weather due to a weaker immune system. They are susceptible to hypothermia, which is a medical emergency that occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing a dangerously low body temperature.
In addition to the above, during the winter bone and joint pains increase. The cause of this could be a change in barometric pressure that leads to tissue expansion, causing swelling and pain.
However, seniors can make simple lifestyle changes to ensure they don’t fall victim to harsh winter conditions. Tenderness Health Care shares in this blog post 5 tips to keep seniors safe and healthy during the winter.
A low-impact exercise routine that pumps the blood and heats the heart is useful to keep the body at an adequate temperature.
Routine exercises like walking and yoga can also be done as they help with coordination and balance. These can even be done in the garden or a park at noon, when the sun provides some of its warmth in this cold season.
Remember that the exercise also includes games for mental stimulation such as sudoku, chess, puzzles or memorama.
Meal and Food Tracking
As we know, the key to good health is a correct diet and establishing meal times. During the winter, it is also advisable to add a few small snacks to the diet of the seniors to maintain heat and energy.
Consuming foods rich in vitamins such as green vegetables and citrus fruits makes the skin more resistant and less prone to dryness. In addition to not forgetting to keep them hydrated, even when they do not feel thirsty.
Keep a Warm Environment
Older people who have cardiovascular conditions may experience increased side effects in the cold. You must make sure that the house, if it does not have central heating, always has heaters and hot water bottles. Wearing woolen clothing, especially gloves and hats, will also help keep them warm.
Skin tends to thin out during the winter, so light layering is imperative. Humidifiers in the house are a great way to keep the air hydrated and consume clean air. This also helps prevent cracking and redness of the skin.
Winter brings with it a higher chance of catching a cold or flu, so it’s important to get all flu shots on time. There are many vaccines available for adults, since all seniors over the age of 65 should routinely get vaccinated against the flu and pneumonia.
The flu vaccine should be given every year in November or December. The pneumonia vaccine is given once after age 65. People under the age of 65 with comorbid medical conditions should also be vaccinated, such as people with lung, kidney, liver problems, smokers, diabetics, or patients with weakened immunity such as HIV.
We often ignore the importance of sunscreens. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause irritation and discoloration of the skin. Therefore, use a sufficient amount of sunscreen before going outside, even during winter as UV rays are emitted by the Sun all the time. And since many older adults seek to spend as much time as possible in the sunlight, they must do so well protected.
As an extra tip, the key to well-being is to be happy. The winter blues make it quite easy to develop senior depression and a feeling of loneliness during this time of year. That is why it is vital that they keep in touch with their family and stay busy.
It is natural to feel lazy and lonely. However, you should consider going out and making time to meet with relatives who need company. Pass the time with a game of cards or a brunch outing in the winter sun and seek long-lost hobbies indoors like knitting, playing an instrument or cooking.
Learn more ways to care for an older adult with Tenderness Health Care!
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