Ways to keep seniors safe, healthy this winter

Alan Wu

December 27, 2011

 Ways to keep seniors safe, healthy this winterWinter can pose unique problems for people, as commuters need to give themselves a few extra minutes to warm up their cars in the morning and kids need more time to stack on extra layers of clothing. Although many get by with just a few minor irritations, for seniors, the winter can be extremely difficult.

According to the State of Illinois Department on Aging, there are certain thing seniors can do to ensure they stay safe and healthy during the colder weather, starting with the furnace. It’s important to make sure a furnace is working properly, as even one night without heat can be detrimental to an elderly person’s overall health.

Seniors should always get flu shots and keep their homes above 65 degrees Fahrenheit to ward off pneumonia and to keep issues like arthritis or Parkinson’s disease at bay.

The department also suggests that elderly people keep up with their daily activities to stay limber and keep their muscles and joints strong to prevent falls, even if they can’t get outside. This can be done by lifting light weights or using workout DVDs to stay fit while inside.

Storms, snow and bad conditions can also mean seniors get less visitors during the winter. Those worried about a loved one aging in place during the colder weather may want to install a medical alert system in their homes. This way,  if a senior experiences a fall or another emergency, they have instant access to help.

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