Winter is known as a time for giving and family gatherings. However, it is also a time of harsh weather conditions and increased susceptibility to illness. The wintertime can be a difficult time for anyone, but it is an especially difficult time of year for our seniors, both physically and mentally. However, there are a few things you and the senior in your life can do to stay safe and keep spirits up this winter. Here are five winter health care tips for seniors.
5 Health Care Tips for Seniors During Winter
It is incredibly important for seniors to dress appropriately for the colder winter season. If there is a significant wind chill or if the temperature outside is in the 50s or below, seniors need to wear multiple layers, a head covering, gloves, and a scarf when they go out. While this may seem excessive, it is an important measure to take in order to prevent them from catching a cold or an infection that could lead to pneumonia. Also, seniors must wear shoes with good traction in order to prevent falls on slick or icy paths.
Be Mindful of the Temperature
The winter season is commonly associated with the thought of outside temperatures; however, it is also important that you monitor indoor temperatures as well. As a safety precaution, seniors should avoid interior areas that are particularly drafty during the winter and avoid sitting underneath air vents or ceiling fans as even the slightest chill can trigger a head cold. Furthermore, be sure to keep plenty of blankets on the bed for when it gets chilly at night.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
During the winter, seniors typically spend more time indoors. However, lack of sunlight can lead to serious vitamin D deficiency. Fortunately, the vitamin can be gained through a variety of healthy foods that are rich in high levels of vitamin D such as salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms. Seniors can also take vitamin D supplements to ensure that they get a proper dosage of the vitamin during the winter.
Stimulate Mental Health
It is equally important to consider a senior’s mental health during the winter months. Seasonal depression is no joke. This is especially true for seniors who may feel isolated during the holiday season if they are unable to see their families. Therefore, it is important to do what one can to maintain good mental health during the winter. One way to achieve this is to make sure your senior loved one regularly stays in touch with their family and friends. Whether through a quick phone call, email, text, video, or greeting card, any means of contact can help ward off feelings of loneliness and isolation. Another tip to boost a senior’s mental health is to have them engage in their community’s wintertime festivities. Decorations, lights, songs, and even holiday movies can conjure feelings of joy that can sustain a senior throughout the cold winter months.
Choose a Senior Living Community That Cares
One of the most important health care tips for seniors, at any time of the year, is to pick a senior living community that cares about their physical and mental well-being by providing them with attentive care, social activities, and healthy food that keeps them feeling uplifted and alive.
At Encore at Avalon Park, we are dedicated to senior health and comfort year-round. Our staff understands the importance for seniors to have a strong, supportive community, which is why we provide them with plenty of access to fun recreational and social activities during the winter season, as well as comfortable accommodations and healthy meals.