How Seniors can Survive the Coldest and Darkest Months of the Year
As the temperature starts to plummet and the days get shorter, it can be hard for seniors to adjust to winter. While most people enjoy bundling up in cozy sweaters and sipping on warm drinks, for some seniors, winter can be a tough time. Some may experience health issues due to their age or simply find it difficult to cope with the cold weather and shorter days..
However, seniors don’t have to dread winter! We’ve got some tips to help you beat the blues and help you survive winter safely and comfortably. Keep reading for helpful advice on how to stay safe and warm this season.
Beating the Winter Blues
Winter can be lonely for seniors and it can be easy to slip into a slump. For many, a decrease in outdoor activity, an inability to socialize, and the holidays can all contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Fortunately, seniors don’t have to brave the cold alone! Here are some ways seniors can stave off the winter blues:
Get outside every day, even if it’s just for a walk around the block
Fresh air does a world of good for seniors and getting the blood pumping with some gentle exercise is important to keep joints mobile. If it’s too cold outside, try visiting your local mall or recreation center for some movement indoors. You may also consider joining a seniors’ fitness or yoga class to get you moving and socializing. For example, if there is a YMCA nearby, they typically offer a variety of programs specifically for seniors.
Make sure to eat healthy foods and stay hydrated
Eating a balanced diet is essential for seniors and can help keep the winter blues away. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid sugary snacks. By making sure that seniors get the proper nutrition, it will help them to stay healthy and keep their energy levels up.
Stay connected with friends and family
Staying connected with friends and family can make seniors feel less isolated in the winter months. Consider having a movie night, video call, or simply chatting over the phone to catch up. With the help of social media, seniors can stay updated with what their loved ones are doing and feel connected to them even if they don’t live nearby.
Keep your mind active
Try to keep your mind active and engaged by reading, doing puzzles or crosswords, learning a new language, or studying up on a topic that interests you. Keeping your brain busy can help seniors stay sharp and stave off mental decline.
Get enough sleep
This is crucial for overall health and well-being. Sufficient sleep helps seniors stay energetic and alert throughout the day. Make sure to give yourself enough rest for your body to recover and try to keep a consistent sleeping schedule.
Make plans for springtime activities and trips
Just because it’s cold now, doesn’t mean seniors can’t plan ahead for fun activities in the warmer months. Making plans and having something to look forward to will help seniors stay motivated even when it’s freezing outside. Consider researching places to visit, events to go to, or activities to do when the weather warms up. A happy thought of springtime can keep seniors from feeling too down during the winter months.
Tips for Surviving the Coldest Season of the Year
Seniors can take some extra steps to make sure they stay warm and cozy all winter long. Here are some helpful tips for seniors to navigate the cold weather:
Wear weather-appropriate clothing
Layering clothing is a great way to stay warm while seniors are outdoors. Start with the basics of a long sleeve shirt and pants, topped by sweaters, jackets, scarves and hats. If seniors get too hot indoors they can easily take off some layers as needed. Investing in a good, thick winter coat is a must – and make sure they’re waterproof!
Drink lots of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids is key for seniors to stay healthy and warm during the winter months. Hot beverages like tea and coffee can be enjoyable, but seniors must make sure they don’t get dehydrated by drinking too much caffeine. It’s important to make sure they drink plenty of water and non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated. Try to avoid overly sugary drinks or caffeinated beverages and opt for water or herbal teas instead. For example, hot chocolate is a nice treat once in awhile, but not as a regular drink.
Check the weather forecast before heading out and plan accordingly
Keep an eye on the weather forecast before seniors leave the house so they’re prepared for any snow, sleet, or cold temperatures. Try to pick days when it’s warmer and plan ahead with extra scarves, gloves and hats. Make sure that seniors wear waterproof boots with good grip to help avoid falls. If possible, avoid traveling on days where the roads could be hazardous. Not only is the travel itself dangerous, but if the vehicle gets stuck or breaks down, it can be risky for seniors to brave the elements.
Eat hearty soups and stews to fuel your body and keep you warm
Nothing beats a steaming bowl of soup or stew on a cold winter day. Soups and stews are easy to make, packed with nutrients, and delicious – seniors can also get creative with their recipes. If unable to cook, they can always pick up some pre-made soups from the store or ask a family member for help with meal prep.
Bundle up your home
Make sure seniors are keeping their homes warm and cozy by turning on the heat, closing off any drafts or leaks around doors or windows, and opening blinds during the day to let in some natural warmth from the sun. Investing in a humidifier will help seniors keep the air in their homes moist and comfortable.
Get a flu shot
Staying healthy during winter is essential and seniors should get a flu shot to help keep their immune system strong. Having a flu shot is especially important as it can help reduce their risk of serious complications from the flu. Talk with seniors’ medical providers first to make sure they’re good candidates for the vaccine.
Get an in-home companion
Winter can be a lonely time for seniors and it’s important that seniors stay connected and engaged. Consider hiring an in-home companion to help seniors get out of the house, enjoy social activities and make sure seniors have someone to talk to during the winter months. This can also be a great way for seniors to stay active and enjoy companionship while staying safe at home. Having someone around who knows seniors’ needs will give seniors peace of mind knowing that they’re safe and taken care of.
Although we can’t do anything about the cold weather, there are plenty of things we can do to make winter more enjoyable. Stay active, socialize, and get outside when you can. And if you find your senior loved ones struggling more than usual this winter, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Our team at Silver Companions is here to support you – just give us a call at (678) 494-8129 or email us at info@SilverCompanions.com for a no cost, no-obligation consultation. We hope these tips will help you enjoy the winter season while staying healthy and happy.
We wish everyone a safe and comfortable winter season. Stay warm out there!