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A Senior’s Guide to Staying Healthy in the Winter

 

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Who does not like winter as a child? Winter offers so much fun – sledding, skiing, snowboarding or simply throwing snowballs at each other. However, the older people get, the less fun they see in this cold and dark season. Winter is often not about fun for elderly ones. They face real challenges moving around, keeping warm and protecting themselves from illnesses.

However, most of the troubles and difficulties that come together with the cold season can be avoided easily. All you need to do is get ready for winter in advance. These are the main challenges most seniors face in winter and some tips to cope with them.

  • Bad weather conditions

Winter comes to us together with its weather surprises – freezing rain, snowstorms, and severe frosts. If this doesn’t bother the younger generations much, it does bring a lot of discomforts to the elderly people. The slippery sidewalks and roads expose them to real danger because once they fall, the risk they break some bone is really high at this age. It is good to supply your loved ones with a box of sidewalk salt, putting it close to the entrance door. This way they can easily use it in case of necessity. Another way to prevent falling is providing your senior loved one with a pair of non-skid boots (or other shoes with good traction). And don’t forget to make sure that shoveling is done at the first necessity. It’s great if you can do it yourself, but even if you can’t, ask a neighbor to do it for extra money.

“Despite what may be commonly thought, dementia is not a disease in itself. Instead, it’s a group of symptoms in combination that reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities,” According to Jane Byrne, Project Coordinator at FirstCare.ie.

  • Obligatory winter supplies

Since winter can be quite unpredictable, you should make sure that your senior loved ones have everything they need, in case there is no chance to go out for a few days due to slippery roads or severe snowfalls. It concerns both food and medical supplies. See to it that there is enough for more than 3 days in a row. Then your loved ones will have nothing to worry about. Besides, power can go out during snowstorms, getting some flashlights or candles that use batteries would be highly advisable. It’s even better if you can get a power generator and teach your senior loved ones to use it just in case. Warm clothing is a must too. Make sure your elderly ones have everything like warm coats, mittens, scarfs, boots, pants, sweaters, etc. Warm blankets will be a great plus in such situations as well.

  • Staying healthy through winter

Staying healthy through winter is another challenge that seniors may face during the cold season. And the problem is not only in lower temperatures and lack of sunlight. The matter is that various germs spread easier indoors, and this is exactly where everyone spends most of the time in winter. Spending time outdoors is vitally important in order to get more fresh air and sunlight. Open air and sunlight help to avoid the so called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a kind of depression which affects older people more than young ones. Still, there are ways to fight it. First, getting some artificial light – special lamps to switch on for a few hours a day. And second, finding some interesting and fun activities indoors and socializing more.

 

  • Eating healthy

Eating the right way becomes not that easy in winter, especially for people who spend most of their time home, as our elderly ones do. But at the

same time, it is very important to have good nutrition since it gives enough energy to go through old temperatures and fight diseases. There are special diets for seniors to follow, but even if your elderly ones are not diet lovers, supply them with quality food to make sure their diet is balanced and nutritious. The best option would be bringing them some tasty hot dishes you cook if you live somewhere nearby. This way you also give them some company and make their winter isolation not so visible. And that is the main thing they want from you – your attention.

 

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