With cold weather, icy ground, and an increase in cold and flu infections, seniors in particular are at greater risk during the winter season. If you’re caring for a senior loved one or are looking for advice on looking after your own wellbeing, then here are some easy-to-follow health tips for seniors this winter.
Get your flu shot
Since influenza is more commonly contracted in cold weather, it’s important now more than ever to make sure you’re up to date with your flu shots. While the flu is often harmless, complications arising from it are much more common among seniors. It can lead to dehydration, pneumonia, and other dangerous conditions.
Dress for the weather
When you go outside in the cold, especially in the snow and frost, it’s important to dress appropriately. This means lots of layers and winter clothing to keep you warm and reduce exposure of your skin to the cold air. These measures prevent the risk of hypothermia and frostbite in freezing temperatures.
It also means suitable footwear that will help you maintain your grip on slippery surfaces. Falls on ice can lead to fractures, head trauma, and other injuries. If you’re worried about the risk of falling, then avoid walking outside until the paths are clear, or use a cane or other walking aid if you must go outside.
Your mental health
The cold and darkness in the winter can get people down, even leading to the condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Combat these effects by staying active, social, getting out in the fresh air and sunlight when possible, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Prepare for storms
If your area is prone to winter storms, then you should also prepare for the chances of power outages in your home. Some essentials to keep are non-perishable foods, bottled water, flashlights, and blankets. Make sure to wrap up warm in your home if the power goes out and you have no alternative heat source.
Be careful on the roads
Driving in bad conditions can be dangerous for anyone, but accidents occur more frequently among the senior population. Make sure your car is prepared for winter by having it serviced and fitting the proper tires. If possible, avoid driving if the roads are icy or in snowstorms.
If you need help caring for a senior loved one this winter, or are looking for alternative senior living options, then contact Bermuda Village for independent living and care in Advance, NC.