Senior Alternatives

Care Management and Home Care Services
5 Tips for a Safe & Healthy Winter

December 12, 2019

Even in moderate climates like the San Francisco Bay Area, winter brings shorter days, colder weather and less light. For the seniors in your life, the impact can be especially challenging. We’ve got a few tips to help you and your elderly friends and family through the next few months.

  1. Watch out for the home temperature
    As seniors age, they often lose weight and are more susceptible to the cold. Keeping the house safely warm is important. Here are a few tips for keeping warm and safe.

     

    • Make sure that you inspect space heaters to make sure they are safe with no frayed power cords.  
    • Keep extra emergency blankets on hand in case of power outages or extra cold weather. 
    • On the flip-side, don’t overheat with too many layers of clothing if the heat is already high in the home.

     

  2. Don’t forget to move 

    Regular walks can be more difficult on rainy days or in cold weather. Taking your senior to the indoor mall for walks is one way to keep moving and healthy.  Be extra careful on those rainy days as the risk of falls increases. At a minimum, do some chair exercises together to keep the blood flowing!

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  4. Keep up your water intake

    Dry cold weather and forced-air heating systems dry out the air making it just as important to drink water as it is in the hotter summer months.

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  6. Get your Vitamin D

    Less sun means less natural Vitamin D. In addition, as we age, we are less efficient at using sunlight to produce Vitamin D. Fortunately, Vitamin D can be increased naturally by eating beef liver, egg yolks, cheeses, and fatty fish like salmon. 

  7. Watch for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
    While SAD can impact people at any age, the implications can be more challenging when the individual is housebound or less likely to get out and about in the wintertime. Let your elder’s doctor know if you have concerns about SAD as they may prescribe a lightbox or medications that can help. 

We are fortunate to live in a mild climate so that we don’t typically need to worry about ice and snow during the winter.  We still can have some winter challenges though and these tips offer some ways to keep our seniors safe and healthy through the winter months.

Regular walks can be more difficult on rainy days or in cold weather. Taking your senior to the indoor mall for walks is one way to keep moving and healthy.  Be extra careful on those rainy days as the risk of falls increases. At a minimum, do some chair exercises together to keep the blood flowing!

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