With the onset of winter, senior citizens should take special care of their health, given the cold winter conditions. For instance, research reveals that every year several senior citizens die from conditions of hypothermia and from exposure to cold. This happens because as we start aging our bodies become less resistant to cold weather and thus the slightest dip in temperature causes our elders to get coughs and colds.
1. Checking winter appliances – It is very important to check if all furnaces and heaters in the home of a senior citizen are working effectively. This should be checked before winter approaches. Try to ensure that the thermostat is working well and that it is set at the right temperature so that you are comfortable at home.
2. Medical monitoring service – Winter is the time when the chances of slipping and falling on ice are the highest. The situation is even worse if no one is home to help you out. The outcome of such a fall and any resultant injury can be extremely serious and can also cause death. Senior citizens who are living alone should always have a medical monitoring device, also known as a personal emergency system, which can help them out in times of crisis.
3. Outdoor activities – It might be tempting to venture out in the snow, but senior citizens should try to restrict themselves when it is extremely chilly outside. Their chances of catching colds and other viral infections are high; thus, it is better to keep away from the cold weather as much as possible. If elders are keen enough to venture out, let them have a stroll outdoors towards noon or before the sun sets. This is the time that is considered to be the least chilly and could be moderately safe for elders.
4. Control of diet – Winter is a time when we tend to suffer from digestion and stomach related problems. The only reason for such problems is that we tend to eat more and move less because the chilly weather encourages us to stay cuddled together in one place. This means that the metabolic activities of our body are reduced, which can slow down our digestive system. The same happens with the elderly, who already suffer from age-related digestive problems. Hence, in order to stay healthy and fit during the winter, it is best to eat little and avoid foods that can form gas and lead to indigestion.
5. Light exercises – Senior citizens need to exercise moderately in the winter. Just a slow, thirty-minute walk every day can be good for the body. However, you need to ensure that while out on such walks or outdoor activities, seniors are well protected from the outside chill. Just as children need layers of clothing, senior citizens need one additional layer over what youngsters need, because immunity levels start falling with age.
Senior citizens just need a little bit of extra care in the winter so that they can spend quality time with their grandchildren. If you have elders at home, help them to stay fit during the winter months and make them feel happy and wanted – nothing can be better than a healthy body and a happy mind.