Brrr!! Winter is coming!! Warm drinks, comfortable blankets, and conversations with family and friends during the hustle and bustle of the festive season make it a truly magical time! Winter is here, the cosy happiness season is here! While holidays, celebrations, and binge-watching your favourite TV shows are all part of the feel-good season, there are certain things that are less endearing than these. The gloomy, chilly weather might lead to some constraints on elder care. So it’s crucial to arm yourself with everything you need to survive the season unharmed, especially with regard to elder care.
The Winter season begins after autumn and continues until spring arrives. As soon as cold nights, short days, freezing temperatures, and snow begin, it means that winter has set in. One needs to maintain body warmth at all times and an easy way to do this is to be well dressed. For elder care, the seniors must wear comfortable and warm dressings, socks, jackets, caps, gloves and mufflers. If the outside temperature is below 32° F, elder care should ensure that senior citizens must avoid outdoor activities or games. In addition to this, safe room temperature for older adults which is around 78° F must be maintained at all times as well under elder care.
During this time of the year, elder care should become an important priority as we must take extra care of our seniors and the seniors must be ready for the winter too. When the body temperature drops during this time, it causes discomfort leading to body aches, silent cardiac issues, and kidney and liver problems. These may begin during this time or get aggravated. The cold winds outside and low room temperature inside may lead to a condition called hypothermia I.e. when the body temperature drops if the senior is not careful. Hence, elder care should be of utmost priority at this time.
Tips For Keeping Elder People Safe In Winter
To help seniors maintain optimum health during the challenging winter months, there are some warm tips for elder care like eating healthy and warm meals like soups and nutritious protein-rich food, taking warm baths, etc. Let us look at some of these tips in more:
1. Stay Warm
The chances of getting hypothermia are significantly high. Hypothermia is when there is a quick and significant drop in body temperature. Seniors are more likely to acquire this illness because of how poorly adapted their bodies are too prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. We should concern ourselves more and more with elder care by making sure that they remain indoors and get as much rest as possible. Besides this, elder care should also ensure that have access to all they need to be warm, particularly at night. If you observe a change in the colour or texture of the skin, unexplained tiredness, or variations in breathing or heartbeat.
2. Stay hydrated
It is normal to feel less thirsty during winter as compared to the rest of the year. The lack of humidity in the air might cause your body to lose water because of the dryness. Elder care should make sure that the old people around drink a lot of water. The temperature of the water can either be at room temperature or prepare yourself a lukewarm lemonade to sip on during the day if you don’t feel like drinking cooled water.
3. Eat a variety of foods
Nutritional deficiencies, particularly vitamin D insufficiency can be a problem since individuals spend more time indoors and may eat a lesser range of foods. It has been said to be linked to health issues including cognitive decline, melancholy, and osteoporosis, among others. Older individuals should eat foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, cereals, and seafood choices like tuna and salmon, hence being an important part of elder care as per nutritionists worldwide.
4. Fight the wintertime blues and depression
Many elderly persons have less social interaction during winter since going out isn’t only dangerous for health but also difficult. Feelings of isolation and loneliness may result from this. As a part of elder care, family members should check in on their elderly loved ones on a regular basis or place their loved ones in an adult daycare facility to assist prevent these problems. Seniors can also set up a system of check-ins with their friends and neighbours, where each individual keeps an eye on one or two others.
5. Be active
While winter may seem like the ideal time to snuggle up in bed for extended stretches of time and spend all your day indoors, it is advised that you keep yourself engaged and active. Exercise in any form can help you get your heart rate up, control your blood flow, and avoid the winter blues, stiffness, and discomfort. Sweating as a result of exercise helps your body remove toxins and maintain good skin. If you are unable to leave your house, you may spend some money on some useful exercise equipment.
6. Dress warmly
Frostbite and hypothermia, are conditions in which the body temperature drops too low, and are both caused by cold weather. Statistics show that from 2015- 2017, fatality rates among people under the age of 15 in both urban and rural regions were continuously rising with age and were related to extreme colds or hypothermia.
For this reason, older folks are encouraged to dress in layers while going outside, including warm socks, a thick coat, a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf. They should cover any exposed skin in extremely cold weather and cover their mouths with a scarf. Seek emergency medical attention if you can verify with a thermometer that your elderly loved one’s fever has fallen below 95 degrees. In elder care, family members and friends should ensure the same for their friends and family.
7. Steer clear of falling
Slipping and falling are very common on icy, snowy sidewalks. Fortunately, falls are rather prevalent among elderly people during winter. These falls frequently result in serious wounds such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma, and severe lacerations. Younger individuals often recover from such wounds fairly quickly, but older persons have complications, which are a major factor in injury-related deaths in both men and women over the age of 65. Hence, preventing falls for the elderly is essential for elder care.
Because of this, it is advised that senior citizens wear footwear with a strong grip and non-skid soles and remain indoors until the roads are safe to travel. In light of this, he advises senior citizens to wear shoes with a strong grip and non-skid bottoms and to remain indoors until the roads are safe to travel. Older persons are recommended to remove their shoes as soon as they enter the house since frequently snow and ice adhere to the soles and, once melted, can generate slippery conditions inside. Replacing a worn cane tip can make walking easier. Installing railings on the porch or places where chances for our elder slipping are very high can also be very helpful.
8. Being ready for power disruptions and outages
Power outages may result from winter storms. In case the power goes out, make sure in your elder care that your elderly loved ones have easy access to torches and a battery-operated radio. Amass a supply of blankets. Keep a stock of non-perishable meals that can be consumed cold on hand since prolonged power outages can degrade the food in your refrigerator and freezer. Older people should dress in multiple layers, including a cap, in case the electricity goes out.
9. Reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
The use of a gas heater, a fireplace, or a lantern can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Check the batteries in your loved one’s carbon monoxide detector and replace them if necessary to ensure their safety. The most crucial piece of advice for elder care is to encourage senior citizens to seek assistance during the colder months. They should feel free to contact a family member, neighbour, or expert for help if they need to clear their property of snow and ice or stock up on nutritious supplies.
10. Have proper heating in the home
In the rooms, the doors and windows must be closed to avoid the harsh winter winds, however, a small gap in the window can be left open for air circulation. All heating systems like heaters should be operational and their wires kept in place to avoid any mishap. In case an emergency should occur, due to extreme winter, the senior should be moved to a nearby care home or hospital as soon as possible.
How Can ProTribe Help?
ProTribe is a trusted provider of care services for Seniors in India. We provide Smart Solutions in the comfort of your home, and within Senior living communities with long-term care, memory care, and other areas of care. We have a proven record of success, and we specialize in high-quality care to help our elderly live healthier and happier lives.
Our team works around the clock to empower Seniors through empathy, guidance and well-being. We are committed to delivering positive clinical, operational and business outcomes to improve the health of Senior Citizens and rehabilitate them to live life to the fullest.
Our core values are:
- Care and compassion
- Respect and appreciation
- Teamwork and enjoyment
- Focus and discipline
- Creativity and enjoyment
- Honesty and integrity
You can avail of our programs like SmartWellness programs designed to meet individual needs for holistic wellness. The in-person and virtual program comes with a personal Wellness Coach and Home Care Attendant Program to support and empower Seniors to reach their desired goals in areas that matter the most to vitality and wellbeing.
In conclusion, the winter season can sometimes test a senior`s patience and resilience of ones involved in elder care. But if the caregiver and senior plan ahead and make slight changes in their routine in time, dealing with the winter may become easier for them. Lastly, if possible, the senior must visit his / her trusted doctor before the onset of winter for a routine check-up and if needed stock up on medicine, if recommended by the doctor to prevent winter flu and cold.
Hope you found these tips for winter useful to ensure a healthy and happy winter for you!