Chronic health issues can affect aging adults all year, but the winter season can add additional challenges in managing your aging mom or dad’s exposure to germs and injurious situations. Keeping an aging loved one healthy during the winter weather will take all your abilities and resources, but it’s worth it when your elderly parent stays happy and healthy.
Why Winter Weather Affects Senior Health?
Winter weather is hard on senior health for several reasons. First, the cold weather brings people indoors, where it’s easier to spread and pick up germs that can cause harmful illnesses such as the cold, influenza and pneumonia. It’s also much harder to practice healthy habits such as exercise, eating fresh food, spending time in fresh air and sunshine, and socializing. Finally, the ice and snow can lead to numerous slip and fall accidents, which can lead to scrapes, bruises, concussions and broken bones.
Many aging adults are dealing with one or more chronic illnesses that are also affected by winter weather. For example, seniors with arthritis are often in more pain and discomfort in cold weather because it causes the joints and muscles to stiffen and they don’t get as much activity, which boosts flexibility. Another example is that many seniors have a weakened immune system, which makes it harder for them to fight off illnesses when exposed to germs.
Tips for Dealing with Winter Weather
You can do a lot to keep your aging parent healthy and happy during the winter. First, insist that everyone washes their hands whenever anyone comes to your elderly mom or dad’s home. This includes home health care providers, family members, community services, and friends. Practice good hygiene by covering a sneeze or cough and insist others do too. If your aging loved one goes on an outing, make sure they wash their hands often or use hand sanitizer to stop the spread of germs.
When it comes to your elderly mom or dad getting exercise and activity in the winter months, a home health care provider can be a real asset. Because they spend so much time with your loved one, they can schedule in some sessions for yoga, tai chi, chair aerobics or a brisk walk outside, weather permitting. Even doing some housework, decorating for the holidays or actively caring for a pet can get seniors more active than usual in the winter.
Finally, family caregivers should be proactive in helping aging adults avoid a slip and fall accident. If they go outside, you or the home health care provider should be by them to help navigate ice and snow on sidewalks, parking lots and driveways. Watch for moisture on hard surfaces that has been tracked into the house as that can cause a slip and fall accident. Home health care providers can help seniors in and out of the shower or bath so they don’t have a bad fall.
There’s no doubt that keeping your aging parent healthy and safe during the winter months is particularly challenging. With the help of friends, family members and home health care providers, your mom or dad can get through the season without issue.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Home Health Care Services in Somerset County NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.
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