Winter weather can present many challenges for everyone. Colder temperatures, ice and snow make getting around safely and staying warm difficult, especially for seniors.
Here are some helpful tips for addressing common winter dangers.
Slips and Falls
Falls are a major threat to senior health. From injuries sustained during these accidents to subsequent complications, spills on snow and ice can have dire consequences for seniors. For optimal traction, make sure your aging loved one is outfitted with solid shoes featuring non-skid soles. If he walks with a cane, meanwhile, replacing a well-worn cane tip offers an added level of slip-proof security.
Dress for Winter Weather
Because of lower metabolic rates, poor circulation and other factors, seniors are particularly susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. Going outside? Wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.
Because it is sometimes difficult and to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation. Make sure your aging loved one has a support system of family members, friends and neighbors. If face-to-face contact isn’t possible, digital communications can bridge the gap.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Wintertime can cause people to spend more time indoors and therefore may eat a smaller variety of foods. Nutritional deficits -- especially Vitamin D deficiency -- can be a problem. Be sure to eat a varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables and good sources of protein.