Staying warm in the winter seems like common sense, but it’s not always easy – especially for older adults. As we age, we become more sensitive to cold weather, meaning we feel cold more easily and find it more difficult to warm ourselves back up. Fortunately, there are many measures to take to avoid freezing that involve more than just grabbing an extra blanket at night to bundle up. Our assisted living team at UMC at Bristol Glen has compiled some of the best tips on how seniors can stay warm this winter.
#1 – Seal up leaks and drafts. Stopping the heat from leaking out of your home is one of the best ways to stay warm and save on your energy bill at the same time. Small fixes to seal up gaps in the heating system, fireplace, windows, and doors can make an impressive difference, and they’re affordable to do too. If you want to make sure your home or a loved one’s home is as weathertight as possible, ask your town or utility company if they perform energy audits, as this is a useful way of seeing where heating energy is being wasted.
#2 – Insulate. Installing good-quality insulation is another affordable, passive way to keep your home warm. Good quality insulation is important to have in the ceiling, attic, basement walls, flooring above vented crawl spaces, and between interior walls. Some insulation, like roofing and crawl space insulation, is very quick and easy to install and makes a big difference when it comes to heating the home in winter. It’s also worth it to install thick, heavy drapes over windows, as glass tends to let in the cold quite easily.
#3 – Set the thermostat correctly. Energy for heating is expensive, but being cold is never the answer. Anyone can stay warm and maximize energy efficiency at the same time by setting their thermostat correctly. Ideally, it should be between 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower than 68 can be dangerous for seniors, and the effects of a colder room can be difficult to notice until it causes a serious problem. If you or a loved one want to save more energy, think about installing a smart thermostat that heats the space as needed according to the temperature of the day. Smart thermostats can also be used to set the most comfortable temperature zones in the rooms that are used most often.
#4 – Layer clothing. Layers allow us to adjust our clothing as the temperature of the day and our activity levels change. They also help to trap heat more effectively, keeping it close to the body. This is especially important for seniors with poor circulation and low blood pressure. A basic layer of flannel or cotton should be the base layer, as it wicks away moisture. Over that, you can wear a heavier long-sleeved top and a sweater, followed by a coat for going outdoors. Remember to combine this with good thick socks, gloves, and winter hats, as our extremities tend to feel the cold much more severely.
#5 – Stay active. Being active in winter is no easy feat, but it is the best possible thing for boosting circulation, warming the body, and strengthening the immune system. If you are concerned that outdoor exercises may be too much of a fall hazard for your senior loved one, look into community recreation centers and gyms offering classes for seniors. These spaces enforce health and safety regulations and are kept at a comfortable temperature all year round, so that seniors can enjoy yoga, water aerobics, dance classes, walking on the treadmill, or swimming whatever the weather.
A sense of community at our CCRC in Sussex County
UMC at Bristol Glen is one of the leading CCRCs in Sussex County. We offer a beautiful, warm, and welcoming space for seniors, whether you have just retired or are looking for additional care. Our experienced staff works tirelessly to meet the social, medical, and wellness needs of every resident, to create a full and abundant life.
For more information on Bristol Glen and how we measure up to other communities offering senior living in Sussex County NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/
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