With age, elderly adults often face numerous challenges to their health and wellness.
From illness and injury to chronic conditions in physical and mental health, it seems that seniors face an ongoing struggle to stay healthy. That’s why it is so important for them to be proactive in avoiding situations where they could jeopardize their well-being. For seniors who are dependent on family caregivers and home care providers, they need extra attention and care to remain healthy during winter weather.
Winter Is Harder on Seniors
Cold weather and harsh conditions are tougher on everyone, and illnesses and injuries grow dramatically during winter months. However, the season is particularly hard on elderly adults for a number of reasons. Not only is it easier to spread and pick up bacteria and viruses, but seniors also tend to suffer the most with illnesses such as pneumonia, strep throat, and influenza. Other winter hazards include slip and fall accidents, poor nutrition, hypothermia, isolation, and loneliness. Family caregivers must be proactive when it comes to keeping their aging loved ones in the healthy zone.
Family Caregivers Can Help Elderly Relatives
The good news is that there are many things family caregivers can do to help their aging loved ones resist the worst health effects of winter. It requires plenty of advanced planning and constant attention to detail, but it’s worth it if their aging relatives escape some of the worst health issues related to winter.
Here are a few tips that family caregivers can use:
Hire a home care provider: Having a professional assistant during winter is essential for safe and healthy seniors. The home care provider can assist the senior with everything from getting dressed to running errands. They can help encourage exercise and prepare nutritious meals. Other services include light housework pet care, medication management, and companionship.
Practice good hygiene: Studies show that washing hands is the number one way to prevent germs from spreading, and family caregivers need to make it a part of everyone’s routine. Hand sanitizer is an adequate substitute when elderly adults, family caregivers, and home care providers are on outings.
Maintain a clean environment: The good condition of an elderly person’s home can help them stay healthy in lots of ways. Family caregivers and home care providers should always check the floors for slip and trip hazards, like throw rugs or melted snow. Another example is keeping up with housework, especially wiping surfaces to reduce germ transfer.
Medical appointments and nutritional needs: Family caregivers and home care providers must boost the senior’s overall health. This includes nutritious meals and snacks, adequate sleep, proper medications, and regular doctor visits. With a healthier body and properly managed conditions, their immune system will be stronger and therefore better able to resist germs.
Winter weather protection: Seniors have a harder time regulating body heat, so proper layering is essential. Other winter-related conditions like dry skin and chapped lips can be uncomfortable and even painful. Family caregivers and home care providers must assist seniors in dressing for the weather and taking care of their body to stay strong and healthy.