Cold Days, Warm Hearts: Staying Healthy and Safe This Winter
Winter has arrived and tends to keep us indoors more – especially with the Coronavirus pandemic that continues. While the coldness of winter is challenging for some of us, here are some tips to help get you through winter.
1. Ward Off Seasonal Depression
Winter can be hard on all of us… It’s cold, gloomy, and there’s no sun to give us our daily dose of vitamin D. With social distancing still being promoted due to the Coronavirus pandemic, feelings of isolation and loneliness are common.
There are two ways to combat the isolation of winter – talk with your neighbors and stay active. While restrictions are still in place to enforce social distancing, residents are still encouraged to get together, while maintaining distance for meetings, activities and events. If you are uncomfortable with socializing, you can connect with family and friends via Zoom, Hangouts or a chat feature on your smart phone.
Exercise is a great way to keep your spirits up. Cornwall Manor’s fitness center is open by appointment but you can always walk inside the apartment buildings to stay warm and prevent falling. Our Wellness Coordinator has several interior routes, with mileage, available for residents who want to walk indoors.
2. Protect From the Cold
While it may seem obvious that you should dress warm in the winter, this is especially important for older adults as they are more prone to hypothermia. When seniors go outside in freezing temperatures, it’s important to wear layers and cover the head and hands. Layers should be warn in any kind of cold weather, freezing or not, as shivering puts extra stress on the body.
3. Wear Proper Footwear
Snow and freezing temperatures make for dangerous situations that can lead to serious falls. Any time an older adult goes outside, even if it’s just to get in the car or check the mail, they should ensure they are wearing proper non-slip footwear with plenty of tread. Loved ones and caregivers should always keep an eye out for icy patches. Salt buckets are available at every Cornwall Manor entrance. After all, it’s much easier to prevent a fall than to recover from one.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet and Drink Water
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the biggest concerns during winter. To make up for the lack of vitamin D we normally receive from the sun, it’s important that seniors eat a varied diet that includes vitamin D and calcium-rich foods such as milk, eggs, and fish. It may be beneficial for seniors who aren’t taking a multivitamin to start now to ensure they’re getting all the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health and a strong immune system.
5. Monitor Temperatures
Take special care to monitor temperatures both indoor and outdoor, as well as internal body temperature. Indoor temperatures should stay consistently warm, never dropping too low at night. Body temperature should not drop below 95 degrees Fahrenheit as that is a sign of illness. Seniors should seek medical attention if they are exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time, or if your body temperature begins to drop.