6 Ways to Help the Elderly Stay Safe and Healthy During the Winter Months

The winter months can be hard on everyone, but for the elderly it can be especially dangerous. With cold/flu season and below zero temperatures among us, it’s difficult to keep ourselves healthy. Here are 6 tips to help get you through the winter safe and healthy!

1. Find someone to shovel your driveway and sidewalk

Snow and ice-covered sidewalks can make any stroll outside a dangerous one. Avoid needless injuries by hiring someone to shovel your driveway and sidewalks after snowfall. Not only will it make quick trips outside such as getting the mail safer, it will also keep you from having to go out in the freezing temperatures.

2. Keep your House Warm

½ of Americans who die from hypothermia each year are older than 65. In the elderly, metabolism slows and circulation doesn’t flow as well. Many people prefer to keep the thermostat set low to save on heat bills. If you are one of these people, make sure you are wearing warm clothing in the home and do not set your thermometer for any lower than 65 degrees.

3. Bundle Up

Always make sure your prepared for unexpected situations that leave you outside longer than expected. Low temperatures increase the risk for hypothermia or pneumonia, especially in the 65+ population, so make sure you’re equipped with (at minimum) a hat, gloves, and coat. Wearing wool or fleece lined clothing will help keep your body warm and insulated whether your inside or outdoors. Fur lined boots or shoes are also helpful for keeping body temperatures up.

4. Eat Healthy/Exercise

A good nutritious diet and exercise is proven to keep your immune system stronger. Your body is much more efficient at keeping away cold and flu symptoms when your body is well taken care of. Make sure to eat foods that are full of vitamin D to help ward off pesky illnesses.

If the cold winter months are keeping you from outdoor exercise, click this link for a great indoor workout!

5. Be Prepared when you Travel

Prepare a kit to keep in your vehicle in case of emergencies so you are prepared if you find yourself without heat in your car. Pack a warm blanket, a flashlight, trail mix or any non-perishable snack, and a pair of gloves, heat packs and salt, cat litter, or sand in a small tote and keep it in your trunk in the winter. Also, make sure to always have a charged cell phone with you when you’re traveling in case you need to get ahold of a friend, family member, or an emergent service.

6. Make Sure you have a Working Carbon Monoxide Detector

Gas heater or fireplace usage increases the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. Make sure you’re protected by purchasing a detector or by replacing the batteries each year to ensure safety.

We hope this article provided some useful tips on staying safe during this cold time of year. If you find yourself needing assistance with your errands, meal preparation or exercises this winter give us a call. Our caregivers can help with these tasks along with many others. For a full list of our services see http://www.korecares.com/services.