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Winter Health Tips for Elderly People

The winter months can be difficult for anyone. With the colder temperatures, more sickness around, and being unable to get outside as much it is commonly a hard time for many individuals. This is especially true for the elderly as the winter months can truly impact their day-to-day lives. Not only are road conditions susceptible to the weather but so are the sidewalks that are used to get around outdoors as well. Regardless of age, the winter month can feel long and lonely so you must take care of yourself during the colder season. If you are an elderly individual it is important that you do things to help yourself out and that you just get through the winter months so you can enjoy the warmer weather ahead. Here are some tips to get you through the winter months! 

Stay Warm Indoors

Maintaining a warm indoor environment is crucial for elderly individuals during winter. Keep living spaces comfortably heated, especially bedrooms, to prevent temperature-related health issues like hypothermia. Dress in layers and use blankets or throws to stay cozy without overheating.

Dress Appropriately for Outdoor Activities

When venturing outdoors, dress in warm, layered clothing to protect against cold temperatures and wind chill. Wear insulated, waterproof boots with non-slip soles to prevent slips and falls on icy surfaces. Remember to cover extremities like hands, ears, and head with gloves, earmuffs, and a hat.

Practice Fireplace and Heater Safety

If using a fireplace or space heater for additional warmth, exercise caution to prevent accidents. Keep flammable materials, furniture, and curtains at a safe distance from heating sources. Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, and schedule regular inspections of heating systems to ensure they’re functioning properly.

Stay Hydrated

Although it may not feel as noticeable as in warmer months, dehydration is still a concern during winter. Encourage elderly individuals to drink plenty of fluids, including water, herbal teas, and warm soups, to stay hydrated and maintain optimal health.

Practice Good Hand Hygiene

Winter is synonymous with cold and flu season, making hand hygiene a top priority. Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, or touching commonly shared surfaces. Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when handwashing isn’t feasible.

Boost Immune Health

Strengthening the immune system is key to warding off seasonal illnesses. Encourage a nutrient-rich diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and immune-boosting foods like garlic, ginger, and citrus fruits. Consider taking vitamin supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Seek Social Connection

Winter can be isolating, but maintaining social connections is essential for mental and emotional well-being. Encourage elderly individuals to stay connected with family, friends, and neighbors through phone calls, video chats, or socially distanced visits when possible.

At The Gables, we try to help our residents take care of themselves during the cold months of the year. We want everyone to stay healthy, safe, and warm!

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