If you are a primary caregiver, you know how difficult winter can be for your elderly loved ones. Winters in many parts of the country are harsh, forcing people to spend less time enjoying a daily stroll or interacting with friends and more time indoors, which can lead to an increase in health issues. They include everything from increased seasonal depression to hypothermia due to impaired circulation. Here are seven things you can do to reduce health risks in winter for your loved ones.
Health Is of Utmost Priority During Winter
Arthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) flare-ups might be exacerbated by the cold weather alone. As we approach the new year, here are some suggestions for keeping safe and healthy:
- Protect from hypothermia throughout the colder months of the year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) you are more susceptible to it. Each year, those who are aging account for more than half of all hypothermia-related deaths. Encourage your aging relatives to wear more layers to keep warm. The best attire is loose-fitting, natural-fiber apparel.
- Icy sidewalks and driveways might make it more likely for an aging person to slip and fall. Enlist the help of a landscaper who can ensure that your loved one’s driveways and sidewalks are clear throughout the winter. If family resources make this problematic, they should contact their local aging agency. They frequently have access to local resources.
- Winter clothing is just as vital for adults as it is for children. Make sure your loved ones have non-skid, winter boots and shoes. If they use a cane or other assistive device, make sure the tip has an icy grip. Remind them to put on a hat and mittens whenever they go outside in the cold.
- Having a storm-ready pantry lowers the danger of injury. You can reduce the need for aging family members to leave the house during bad weather by assisting them in keeping their pantry well-stocked and having an emergency supply of medication on hand.
- The flu season peaks immediately after the holidays in most parts of the country. It is more likely to affect your loved ones. Encourage your aging family members to get a flu shot if they haven’t already. It’s one of the most effective strategies to avoid being bitten.
- During the winter, vitamin D deficiency is more common. Encourage your family members to speak with their primary care physician to see whether a vitamin D supplement should be added to their daily regimen.
- Isolation is a health risk for those who live alone. It often gets worse during the long, cold winters. Video chat platforms like Skype and Signal can allow families to talk “face-to-face” all winter long.
Work with TerraBella Newton and Enjoy Warmer Days
If you live in a colder region and can’t be present to assist in keeping your loved ones safe, consider TerraBella Newton! Our friendly team of senior lifestyle counselors is available around the clock. We have two great programs, namely Assisted Living and Memory Care, and can help you pick the one that’s right for your loved ones’ needs. Contact us now and arrange a tour of our beautiful community to discover more!