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How Can Older Adults Stave Off Illness During Wintertime

Because people over 65 tend to be more susceptible to viruses in wintertime, it’s important for them to take the necessary measures to stave off illness. Westfield, NJ, in-home senior care experts suggest a few tips your senior loved one can use to prevent common illnesses during the winter months. 

Dress Warmly

Cold temperatures can lead to illnesses like frostbite and hypothermia, which causes the body temperature to dip too low. To prevent these types of illness, your loved one should dress in layers and keep indoor temperatures at a warm, yet comfortable level. Make sure your loved one covers all layers of his or her skin when going outside by wearing gloves, a hat, a scarf, warm socks, and layers of clothes. 

Eat Healthy Meals 

Because your loved one will likely be spending more time indoors due to the cold weather, make sure he or she eats a variety of healthy meals that help prevent nutritional deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiency can be a large concern for seniors during the winter, but consuming foods fortified with vitamin D can help them remain healthy. Some of the most nutritious foods for seniors to eat during the colder months include:

  • Salmon
  • Milk
  • Tuna
  • Grains 

Reduce the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Your loved one will want to stay warm during the winter to prevent common illnesses, including the flu and pneumonia. However, you should encourage him or her to avoid the use of gas heaters, lanterns, and fireplaces because they can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure the batteries in your loved one’s carbon monoxide detector are updated, and use safer alternative heating options. 

Maintain Good Hygiene Habits 

It is important for your loved one to practice good hygiene to prevent the spreading of common illnesses. Be sure your loved one washes his or her hands or uses hand sanitizer and avoids spending time around people with colds, measles, the flu, respiratory infections, and other serious conditions.

Though it’s crucial for your loved one to maintain his or her health during the winter months, it’s just as vital to remain healthy the rest of the year as well. If your loved one needs help staying focused on healthy habits, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer a program called the Balanced Care Method (BCM), which encourages seniors to eat well, exercise often, and use a variety of other strategies to increase their longevity. For more information on BCM and the respite and 24-hour care Westfield, NJ, families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a free in-home consultation.