It’s that time of the year again. The cold wind is blowing in, there’s frost on your windshield, the ground is slick and snow can be as high as your knees. We all have fun memories that involve snow and the Christmassy feel. This year, our earliest sign of snow appeared on December 4, 2016, much earlier than anticipated. Ice and snow can be challenging for everyone, particularly seniors. How can you stay healthy and safe this holiday season? Here are a few tips that we think are key:
1. Fall prevention: Per Dr. Wang from the Stanford Hospital, falls are the leading cause of death in women and men over the age of 65. It is imperative that you stay safe. Watch out for black ice; sometimes, especially on sidewalks, it is difficult to see or notice black ice on the floor. To avoid this, wear shoes that have traction soles and update your prescriptions for glasses, if possible, to prevent falls and increase the firm grip on the ground.
2. Keep warm: According to CDC, hypothermia is major cause of death or illness with adults over the age of 65. It is recommended that you dress in layers or get a single thick coat. Cover areas of your body that are susceptible to cold; socks for feet, gloves for hands, hats for your head and ears and a scarf to protect your neck.
3. Watch out for winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): According to Mental Health America, two million seniors suffer from clinical depression and/or SAD. Holiday traditions can trigger memories of long lost loved ones which may lead to depression. Also, having to stay home to avoid accidents or the cold can lead to depression. It is important to do happy things during the winter. A ten minute call to a loved one daily can reduce the feelings of loneliness. Participate in community activities. If you don’t know what to do, stop by Hickory Glen Senior Living! There will always be something happening and people to interact with.
4. Get prepared for emergencies: How? Get snow tires for your car. Make sure your engine has been serviced. Put a thick warm blanket in the back seat of your car. Prepare your homes for power outages by getting a flashlight with fresh batteries, some canned food, and bottled water.
5. Monitor your diet: Ever heard the phrase, “Good mood, good food”? It is important to eat foods rich in vitamin D. Why? During the summer and spring, we get a lot of vitamin D from the sun. However, during the winter, since we’re barely exposed to the sun, it is important to get your vitamin D from various sources such as milk, grains and sea food.
6. Watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning from your fireplace, gas heaters and lanterns. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors have batteries and are updated. They should be replaced every 10 years.
At Hickory Glen Senior Living, you don’t have to worry about being alone during the winter! There are fun activities planned and opportunities for socialization with other residents daily. With our staff present 24/7, you can call at any time in case of falls or any emergencies. If you still drive, you won’t have to worry about black ice or scrapping snow off your driveway because we will scrape your car and bring it to the entrance so you don’t have to walk far. If you drive, but are skeptical of the hazardous weather conditions, you can take our bus to medical appointments, grocery stores, malls, to visit family, church, and many other local places. Our building is equipped with safety monitoring equipment in case of power outages or storm emergencies as well. Lastly, our meals have a well-balanced nutritional value with seasonal nutritional needs that can help keep you healthy during the winter season. We at Hickory Glen fret the winter season a little less knowing all we have available within our community!