The cold winter months can be challenging for seniors. As people age, they lose some of their ability to stay warm due to loss of body fat, poor circulation, and other medical conditions. Additionally, many seniors may not be able to use their heating systems due to financial constraints. Use the following tips to help your senior loved one stay warm this winter.
1. Serve Warm Beverages and Foods
Drinking warm beverages and eating warm foods can raise your loved one’s core body temperature and warm him or her from the inside out. Warm teas, hot chocolate, decaffeinated coffee, and soups can keep your loved one warm and satisfied. Stock your loved one’s cupboard or fridge with nutritious soup and drink options that can be easily warmed.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your senior loved one needs help preparing warm foods and beverages. West Bloomfield Township, MI, home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
2. Encourage Exercise
The cold weather and lack of transportation often discourage many seniors from going outside during the winter months. However, being indoors doesn’t mean your loved one needs to stay on the couch and do nothing. Exercising is a great way to get the heart pumping and warm up the body. Treadmills and elliptical machines are great tools for getting your loved one moving, but you don’t need to spend money on expensive exercise equipment. At-home exercise videos available online or on DVD can provide your loved one with several indoor workout options.
3. Add Layers to Clothing
Encourage your loved one to dress in several warm layers in the morning that can easily be removed as the day becomes warmer. Light thermal underwear can provide a base under normal winter clothes, and a warm jacket or sweater on top provides extra warmth. If your loved one is heading outdoors, make sure he or she is wearing an appropriate winter jacket, gloves, and a hat. Thick socks can keep your loved one’s feet warm and encourage good circulation.
Caring for a senior loved one and helping him or her get dressed in the winter season can be difficult for family members. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Bloomfield Hills, MI, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Prepare the Home for Winter
Because your loved one may spend a lot of time indoors when the temperatures drop, make sure his or her home is ready for the winter season. Stop drafts from doors and windows by checking the weather stripping, using foam spray to seal any leaks and placing heavy curtains in front of the window at night. Make sure to open the curtains on sunny days to let the sunlight in and warm up the home naturally.
It’s also a good idea to have your loved one’s heater or furnace inspected. Having a professional check the device before it is used during winter can result in a more efficiently-running system that could save your loved one money.
5. Use Electric Blankets and Space Heaters with Care
While electric blankets and space heaters can provide your loved one with extra warmth in the winter, it’s important to use them with caution. Heated blankets should be turned off when not in use and should be used cautiously to prevent burns from occurring. Make sure space heaters are placed in a secure location and away from anything that could block air intake. Space heaters should never be plugged into an extension cord or multiple-use outlet, as these aren’t designed to provide the required electricity flow.
Hiring a professional caregiver is another way to ensure your loved one stays warm in the winter. An in-home care expert can prepare warm and healthy meals for your loved one and help him or her dress warmly. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Bloomfield Township Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To hire an in-home care expert for your elderly loved one, give us a call at 248.283.0835 today.