After the heat of the summer, cooler weather may feel like a relief. However, seniors often experience challenges during the winter that jeopardize their wellbeing. Make sure to use the following strategies to help your aging loved one prepare for the winter season.
Schedule a Heater Inspection
Seniors are much more susceptible to the effects of cold temperature than their younger counterparts. Since a lot can happen with a heating system between seasons, your loved one needs to have his or her unit inspected before starting it up. During the inspection, minor issues can be detected and corrected well before the weather becomes unbearably cold.
The winter season can be harsh for older adults living with serious health issues. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Henderson home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
Identify People to Contact in an Emergency
Even with the best of care, your loved one may still experience a winter emergency that poses a risk to his or her health. For instance, there could be an electrical outage in the neighborhood that stops the home heating system from working. Alternatively, your parent could fall ill and be unable to get to the store for food or medicine. In these types of situations, your loved one needs to know who to call for help. Prepare a list that includes at least three family members, friends, and caregivers that can quickly be by your loved one’s side in the event of an emergency.
Take Preventative Action Against Illnesses
The flu tends to circulate this time of year, and your loved one needs to follow the physician’s recommendations regarding vaccinations. However, other viruses and bacterial illnesses are prevalent during the winter, such as the norovirus that causes vomiting and diarrhea and leads to dehydration. Talk to your parent about ways to boost the immune system, such as eating right and exercising each day. Then, provide the proper support to accomplish these goals. For instance, you could arrange for a caregiver to help your loved one go for a walk or prepare nutrient-dense meals that ward off illnesses.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Henderson, Nevada, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Check the Coat Closet
Your loved one may need to wear extra layers of clothes to feel comfortable in cold weather. Go through your parent’s coat closet to check if he or she has winter clothing that fits and is in good condition. As you do, make sure your loved one has accessories such as hats, gloves, and scarves that ward off the cold on unexpectedly chilly days.
Guard Against Depression
Your loved one’s emotional health is always a priority, but it takes on even greater importance during the winter. For many seniors, dreary or cold days may mean they don’t get outside to soak up the sunshine as often. Your parent may also experience feelings of sadness at the thought of not being able to spend the holidays with friends and family members who have passed away over the years. Help your loved one maintain positive mental health by checking in on him or her regularly. Small gestures such as making sure your parent has transportation to social events or someone to share a meal with may go a long way toward keeping him or her happy.
Older adults who need help maintaining a high quality of life can benefit from professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Henderson Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (702) 527-7723 today.