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Staying Warm This Winter

Staying Warm This Winter

Winter is in full swing, and seniors across the country are dealing with the impact of cold weather. With aging, it can become more difficult for the body to effectively regulate its temperature, and joints can become stiff and sore. This can make daily activities more painful and uncomfortable for older adults. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that seniors can stay warm both indoors and out.

Layer Up

Dressing in layers is beneficial because it allows seniors to adjust their temperature based on the situation and how they feel. Choose cotton materials that allow the skin to breathe while still providing warmth. If clothes become sweaty, change into something clean and dry so the damp material doesn’t trap the cold.

When going outside, be sure to cover up exposed skin. Wear a hat that goes down over the ears, wrap a scarf around the neck and tuck it into the front of the coat, and make sure gloves are long enough that if the sleeves ride up, the wrists are still covered.

Check Doors and Windows

Especially in older homes, doors and windows can be a major culprit for cold drafts. Check seals and weatherstripping to verify they are in good shape and aren’t cracked or missing. If they are, get them repaired or replaced. Keep the curtains drawn to trap the heat inside and cold outside. Don’t forget to have the HVAC system serviced to ensure that it is in proper working order and effectively heating the home without wasting electricity.

Space heaters and heated blankets can be used for warmth as well, but be cautious that they don’t overheat or cause burns. Seniors’ skin is often thinner and more sensitive to temperature, so check regularly to make sure it is not becoming red or hot to the touch. Wrapping up in bathrobe, layering some blankets, or using flannel sheets can be a safe alternative. Keep space heaters out of walking paths and away from flammable objects to prevent falls and fires.

Opt for Indoor Activities

Limit time spent outdoors when it is especially cold. If going out, aim for the afternoon when the temperatures are the highest and the sun is overhead. Try to find activities and events that are in heated facilities. Many senior centers and community organizations offer various clubs and groups that encourage socialization while giving older adults a warm, comfortable space to relax. They may offer transportation as well.

Drinking warm beverages such as tea, coffee, or hot chocolate throughout the day can also take the chill off. Relaxing in a shower or bath that’s not too hot can soothe stiff joints and improve mobility.

Make the most of the winter months and stay safe and warm by partnering with an in-home caregiver. A caregiver in Bethesda, MD can assist seniors in selecting proper attire and adjusting layers, engaging in light exercise to keep joints flexible, preparing meals and beverages, and completing various activities. Contact Always Best Care to learn more and schedule a care consultation.  

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