Staying healthy during the winter can be a challenge for anyone. Especially seniors with compromised immune systems or limited mobility. Fortunately, there are easy ways to stay on track and be more proactive through these icy months. The caregivers at our senior living community in Camden County have put together a list of tips for seniors to follow during the cold, harsh winter months.
- Prevent Vitamin D deficiency with a well balanced diet and supplements. More people tend to be vitamin D deficient in the cold, winter weather. This is due to lack of sun exposure by staying indoors more often. Luckily, this can be avoided by eating right! It starts by making smart food choices, for example, choosing frozen vegetables over canned and incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet like oranges, broccoli and pomegranates. Try to also include fish, poultry and eggs as well for healthy, lean protein on a daily basis. If you need a little extra help, there’s nothing wrong with taking vitamins. Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and fish oils are all good supplements to have on hand if you or a loved one are not receiving enough through food alone.
- Exercise outdoors when possible, but take precautions. There’s no reason why you can’t continue exercising outdoors during the winter if your doctor gives the OK. However, you should definitely take more precautions during cold and slippery weather conditions. Some examples include wearing sturdy footwear when it’s icy out, layering warm clothing when it’s cold and protecting your skin from the sun with sunscreen, glasses and a hat when the UV index is high.
- Keep living space warm and safe. During the winter, it’s important to pay extra attention to the temperature inside your living space. If you are still living at home, the temperature inside your home should stay consistently warm, especially overnight. Keep an eye on the weather each day, if the outdoor temperature is predicted to drop, make sure your heating system stays on as seniors are more prone to hypothermia. Plus, your pipes can freeze if it’s too cold and you’ll be left without water. In that same line of thought, it’s a good idea to have HVAC and plumbing professionals come in to service all heating systems and plumbing in the home to ensure that everything is in safe working order. The last thing you should worry about is being without heat and water during a blizzard!
- Stay connected to loved ones. It’s harder during the winter to get out of the house and connect with others. While it’s physically easier to stay nice and warm at home, it can also be mentally harder. Becoming isolated from others can lead to loneliness and even depression, a condition to be taken seriously for seniors in particular. At the very least, make sure to arrange a weekly (or even daily) Zoom or phone call with your loved ones. And when the weather is cooperating, make your way out into the cold to visit a family member or friend. They will appreciate the visit just as much as you will!
Assisted senior living in Camden County, NJ
Collingswood is part of United Methodist Communities, a network of senior living communities specializing in holistic senior living. Our community in Camden County, NJ, is known for its beautiful setting, spacious residential apartments and variety of activities available all year round. With qualified, experienced medical professionals and caregivers on hand to provide assistance around the clock, residents can enjoy all the benefits of living independently.
For more information about our assisted living services in Collingswood, NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/collingswood/
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/collingswood/blog/senior-health-4-tips-for-the-cold-winter-season/