With winter on the horizon, it’s definitely time to start thinking about the health of your senior loved ones throughout the long cold season. It’s very easy to have a downturn in mood through the winter months, especially because it often confines elderly persons to the home. Then too, the warmth and the cheer of summer seems long gone, and with it, much of the joy and good feeling that attends the summer season. That makes it especially important for you to ensure that your senior loved ones are maintaining their health through the winter months.
Maintain social contact
Seniors and their caregivers sometimes feel isolated during winter months, so it’s a good idea to fight off that isolationist feeling by being more social. If possible, arrange for meetings for coffee or other social events, so that spirits can be lifted and good company can be enjoyed. Depending on the health and physical well-being of your parent, it might be a good idea to have them volunteer to help others, since this is always a good mood booster.
The benefits of exercising are well-known, with regard to the physical enhancement as well as mood enhancement. If your senior parent is up to it, take the exercise program outdoors and bundle up for a good walk in the chilly weather. Make sure to dress properly for such forays, and try to enjoy the weather rather than be held prisoner by it.
Keep the home warm
As people age, it often becomes more difficult to maintain the appropriate body temperature, sometimes due to declining circulation. That makes it important to maintain a proper temperature in the home, so that seniors don’t feel excessively chilly, or catch cold due to some kind of exposure. If you can maintain the thermometer at 68°F, that should be sufficient for keeping your loved ones warm and comfortable through the winter.
It can be a little more challenging to eat healthy during the wintertime, since many of the fresh produce items are unavailable, or they cost much more. When this begins to happen in your area, check on the availability and the cost of frozen vegetables, which generally contain much lower amounts of sodium than canned vegetables do. In addition to eating as many fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables as possible, it’s wise to maintain the immune system as well. Make sure your elderly loved one has all the vitamins he/she needs, either by taking supplements, or by eating foods such as fish, poultry, and eggs.
Get some sunshine
It’s important to keep sunshine in your daily routine as a means of trying to beat the winter blues. Sunshine also provides a body with vitamin D, so it has a health benefit as well as a mood benefit. Take your parent along when you walk the dog, or for a stroll around the neighborhood. On days where it might be too cold for a walk outside, open up the curtains and the blinds to let the sunshine in, and have your loved one sit by the window for a while. A number of studies have been conducted on the value and the importance of maintaining natural light as part of your daily routine, so keep this high on your list to fight the winter blahs.
Do you need home health care?
One important part of keeping loved ones like your parents healthy during the upcoming winter, may be to include home health care as part of their overall care program. Contact MD Home Health to obtain the best Arizona health care for your senior loved ones, so you can have peace of mind in knowing that all their health needs will be provided for, by the best team of caregivers in the state.