In many ways winter can be the hardest season to get through for older people. Among the many risks which increase during the colder months are injuries and illness. Simply walking can become treacherous as sidewalks ice over, snow piles up and makes obstacles, and cold dry air makes recovery from illness more difficult. Not to mention the spread of flu viruses and even developing hypothermia.
But don’t let these issues keep you home. By following some simple tips everyone can get through the coldest days unscathed:
- Older people are more susceptible to hypothermia. Caused if too much heat escapes from the body, it can be prevented by dressing warmly in layers and staying dry. It is also important to eat highly nutritious foods which give the body the energy it needs to properly regulate its temperature and keep you nice and warm, inside and out.
- Wear warm, layered clothing, including hats, gloves, sweaters, scarves, and nice, warm winter coats.
- Wear non-skid boots to prevent slipping and worse, falling on ice. Your shoes should be capable of gripping the ice and slush, too.
- Planning on shoveling the snow out of your driveway or off the path by your house? The extra stress can be hard on the heart, so be sure to do some warm-up exercises before you pick up the shovel. Rest a lot during the exertion of shoveling
- Plug your portable heater directly into an outlet. Avoid using long extension cords which are easy to trip over. Leave plenty of space between the heater and furniture, curtains, newspapers, or any other flammable materials.
Winter can be a challenge, but it can also be a delight, if you are prepared and take the proper precautions. Happy New Year!