This Is How You Can Keep Your Grandparents Healthy This Winter

  • Oct 13 , 2017

As winter is here and the temperature continues to drop, it is important for seniors to prepare for impending risks that cold weather can bring. Cold conditions can cause severe illness and, in the worst cases people may also die. By taking precautions, elders can be prepared for this cold weather and minimise its bad effects on their health.

Tips to keep elders healthy this winter:

Dress warmly- It is important to dress warmly and keep dry, as elders are more susceptible to hypothermia. When going outdoors, wear layered loose-fitting clothes and mittens. When possible, wear a hat to protect against heat loss since close to half of all body heat is lost through the head. Wear warm socks, heavy jacket, gloves and scarf. Use a scarf to cover your face and protect yourself from getting sick.

Get the heating system checked regularly- If elders use a fire or heater in their bedroom at night, they should always keep a window and the door open. Switch appliances off, rather than leaving them on standby. Do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat the home. This is inefficient and there is also a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Insulating the elders’ home keeps them warm and healthy.

Photo Courtesy: Jamesdearsley

Prepare for power outages- In case of power failures, make sure that your elders have easy access to flashlights and battery powered radio. Stockpile warm blankets. If the power goes out, wear layers of clothing, including a hat and a scarf.

Get a seasonal flu vaccine- A seasonal flu can also cause serious illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis and it may require the old person to stay in the hospital for long. The elderly and those facing long term health problems are most at risk. Seniors can get a free seasonal check from the age of 65. They should contact with their doctor or talk to their pharmacist.

Avoid catching colds - Colds spread very easily, so encourage your elders to always cover their nose and mount with a tissue while coughing or sneezing and encourage visitors and relatives to do the same. They should throw away used tissues as soon as possible and wash their hands regularly with soap and water, to avoid infection.

Give time to your elders- As it is not feasible to get around during winters, they often suffer from loneliness which may lead to depression and isolation. Family members can spend time with elders whenever possible; phone calls can also be made. Elders can meet neighbors and friends.

Living a healthy lifestyle and take proper diet- Lifestyle can make a lot of difference when it comes to keeping well in winter. Eating regular meals will help keep their energy levels up and immunity system stronger. It will help to fight infection. Plan the meals of the elders in a varied manner. Include 4 to 5 portions of fruits and vegetable. Encourage elders to have plenty of hot food, soups and drinks.

Stock up the remedies of cold and cough- Tell elders to stock up on medicines for cold and cough, which are common all year. Fetch medicines if necessary.