Winter Safety for Older Adults
The elderly run a greater risk for health problems and injuries related to the weather when the temperature drops, like hypothermia. Cold weather leads to reduced body temperature, and the body undergoes thermoregulation to adjust to the new climate. You can have a healthy, supercharged winter by following a few easy precautions during the winter season with little effort. While you must enjoy the winter season, remember to take measures to stay healthy. This goes especially for the elderly, whose immune system is weak and more prone to illnesses. However, this shouldn’t keep the seniors from enjoying the winter sun and everything this season offers. Here are a few tips for the elderly that will help them stay healthy and safe and enjoy the season simultaneously.
Five handy winter self-care tips for seniors:
1. Stay warm
Older adults are at greater risk of weather-related health problems and injuries, such as hypothermia, when temperatures drop. Wear warm clothes – Cover up your body the moment you feel cold. Don’t wait till you start shivering. It is recommended to wear gloves, socks, scarves, a woollen hat, and/or anything that keeps your body warm & comfortable. While enjoying the winter season is essential, remember to take steps to stay healthy. This is especially true for the elderly, whose immune systems are weak and more susceptible to illness.
2. Stay active
While winters may seem like the perfect time of year to stay in bed longer, curl up, and stay inside all day, staying active and connected is a good idea. Any exercise can help increase your heart rate, regulate blood flow and eliminate winter depression, lethargy, stiffness, and pain. Physical activity also makes you sweat, removes toxins, and keeps your skin healthy. You can invest in handy exercise equipment at home when you can’t go out. In addition, daily yoga or any physical activity can help warm up and strengthen your immune system, improving your defenses against seasonal illnesses such as flu and colds.
Note: Those with heart ailments need guidance from their doctor on exercising.
3. Stay hydrated
Naturally, in winter, you are less thirsty than usual throughout the year. However, dehydration can dehydrate the body due to the lack of moisture in the air. Water helps clean our system, carries nutrients to the body cells, and helps maintain the body’s fluid balance. So ensure that you drink plenty of water. If you don’t want to drink cold water, drink room temperature or make yourself lukewarm tea that you can drink throughout the day. Keep rooms warm and humid.
4. Take care of your skin
Older people often neglect to take care of their skin. Older people need more skincare than usual because their skin becomes dry and itchy in winter. Damaged skin is one of the winter dangers. Cold weather causes dry, itchy skin, chapped lips, and cracked heels. Winter skincare must include moisturizing, applying sunscreen, and increasing water intake. Remember to apply sunscreen before going out. Everyone, including the elderly, should go outside and enjoy winter. But they need to be more conscious before going out
5. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet:
Balanced nutrition rich in whole grains, lean meats, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, and fresh fruits and vegetables is essential to boosting your immune system. You can also optimize your intake of vitamin C-rich foods that help strengthen your system and keep your body healthy. Older people need to ensure they don’t miss out on the essential nutrients their bodies need to keep infections at bay. So balanced meals are ideal. Also, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, and dried fruits.
Shower using lukewarm water: “There’s nothing more satisfying than a bubbly hot shower when it’s cold outside. But while hot showers feel great, they can cause skin problems. On the other hand, a lukewarm shower followed by a hydrating routine can help prevent dry skin.
Quit Smoking: Smoking makes one more susceptible to respiratory infections in the winter, so you should quit.
Vitamin D: Get outside and enjoy the warm sun. Our bodies need vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for maintaining good health and immunity, and vitamin D is also necessary for regulating mood.
Staying hydrated, eating right, and exercising can lay a good foundation for maintaining good health in winter. Winter has long been associated with illness. Bacterial infections are expected during the change of seasons, so please take the necessary measures to protect your health. The cold weather may have tempted you to relax and enjoy the weather, but don’t neglect your health.