Blustery winds. Freezing cold temperatures. Icy walkways. Blizzards. Here in New England, these telltale signs of winter are all too familiar. Unfortunately, the change in seasons is something we all have to prepare for in the Northeast. If you’re a caregiver for a senior, then winter might be an especially challenging time for you to prepare, and protect, your senior family member.
Since 1992, the Griswold Home Care Metrowest-Boston office has been serving seniors in the area, including the towns of Newton, Needham and Wayland. Our caregivers understand how challenging it can be to make sure a senior loved one is safe and comfortable when it’s cold outside. We’ve prepared some handy tips that can help to keep your elderly loved one in good shape when the wintery weather arrives.
Stock up on emergency items:
Put together an emergency kit that includes water, a flashlight, batteries, a radio and blankets. Make sure that it’s accessible. Your seniors should also have a supply of their prescriptions on hand as well as non-perishable food.
Watch out for the “Winter Blues”
Colder temperatures and grey skies can have an effect on your senior’s mood. That fun-loving elder from the summertime might feel less cheerful during the winter months. Be sure to watch for signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which usually has its onset during the winter. Signs of SAD can include, loss of energy, decreased appetite, disruptive sleep, irritability and not wanting to socialize. SAD symptoms can be helped with bright light therapy or a light box, which emulates exposure to natural sunlight.
Be sure to create opportunities for socializing which can help foster connections and fight loneliness. Having a senior caregiver scheduled for regular visits to offer support around the house and keep an older loved one company is one way to help prevent feeling isolated.
Fight colds with good nutrition
Making sure a senior loved one maintains a healthy diet and gets the nutrients they need becomes even more important during the winter. If your senior is lacking in vitamin D, they are at a greater risk for catching a cold. Encourage your loved one to eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables since they are a good source of vitamins. Home Care Plans from Griswold Home Care often include meal planning and preparation so our caregivers can help your loved one eat healthy. Finally, be sure to check with their doctor about getting the flu shot since it’s highly recommended for this age group.
Clear Walkways and Sidewalks
Sidewalks that aren’t clear can pose a serious slipping and falling hazard for the elderly. It’s best to have someone else handle shoveling and salting if an older loved one lives at home by themselves to prevent serious injuries.
Drink plenty of water
Seniors tend to eat and drink less than their younger counterparts, which means they take in less water. When it’s colder out people also tend not to feel as thirsty so they don’t drink as much as they should. Colder, drier air also adds to moisture loss so it’s especially important to make sure your senior stays hydrated. A caregiver can make sure a loved one stays hydrated by keeping a water bottle with them and making sure they don’t forget to drink water when they’re feeling thirsty.
It’s important to give yourself enough time to prepare for the colder weather to ensure your senior is on the right track for winter. By following the tips here, you can get them off to a good start.
If you’re located in Newton, Natick, Framingham, Needham or the surrounding area, the Griswold Home Care Metrowest-Boston office is here to be a senior care resource, especially as winter draws closer. Our home care services can help an elder loved one who needs some assistance to continue to live at home. We are America’s most established Home Care Company and work hard to set the standard for aging in place. All our caregivers are employees of Griswold Home Care so you can be sure your loved one is getting thoughtful, compassionate care.
Please call us with any questions: 781.559.0073. Our care coordinators and caregivers look forward to working with you, while providing a world-class home care experience.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073