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Staying Healthy as the Weather Cools Down

Posted by David Ghiorso, CPA, October 6, 2016

Wintertime poses a unique challenge to senior citizens. That’s probably why so many of them move to Florida! No matter where you live, however, you can follow these tips to keep yourself healthy and safe as the weather cools down, and as always, remember to report any health concerns to your primary physician right away.

Dress in layers. You’re extra prone to problems like frostbite, so remember to bundle up appropriately when you venture outside. Keep a coat, hat, gloves, and scarf in a handy location so that you can slip them on before heading out the door. Remember to wear thick socks, and waterproof shoes if it’s raining or snowing.

Fight depression. We tend to stay indoors in the winter, and don’t attend social outings as often. This habit can lead to wintertime depression in seniors who live alone. Arrange a check-in system with family or neighbors, and attend social gatherings when you can. Joining a social media site like Facebook can even help with loneliness.

Remember your Vitamin D. Normally we receive adequate vitamin D from sunlight, but you could suffer a deficiency in the winter months. Choose a supplement that contains vitamin D, or simply remember to eat foods that are high in this important nutrient (milk, grains, salmon, or tuna are good options).

Avoid falls. Just one bad fall can lead to months of medical treatments and physical therapy if you break a bone or sustain head trauma. Hire someone to pressure wash decks and walkways before cold weather sets in, and take note of spots that tend to collect puddles or ice (and avoid them). Install hand railings where necessary, use a cane, and wear shoes with good traction on the bottoms.

Get your car serviced. Make sure your tires have good traction, or install snow tires if needed in your area. Make sure you have a strong battery, and replace the windshield wipers.

Get ready for power outages. If winter storms tend to cause power outages in your area, create an emergency kit that is easy to access in the dark. Include flashlights, batteries, warm blankets, and non perishable foods. And of course, remember to dress warmly if you do lose power. If you can, move to a location that does have power – but only if the roads are safe for driving. Ask a friend or trusted neighbor to check on you in the event of a power outage.

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