Winter Brings Difficulties to Elderly
During winter months, many seniors become listless, bored and stagnant. They don’t like the cold and snow, so they stay indoors. Becoming housebound can create a unique set of health and safety problems for elderly living alone. Often, professional in-home caregivers support seniors with time, attention, companionship, and practical assistance to help push through the cold winter months.
There are many issues related to the ongoing health of seniors which can be categorized as physical, emotional, or home safety. Some quick thoughts on elderly health and well-being.
Preventing hypothermia. As we grow older, we become more sensitive to the cold. Though seniors are at higher risk of hypothermia, common health problems and some medications may cause them to be less aware that their body temperature is dropping. An indoor temperature that feels fine to younger people may be unsafe for older adults. Staff at Home Care Partners will monitor senior clients for signs of hypothermia, and help them remain warm and comfortable, perhaps with a sweater, thermal underwear and an extra blanket for the bed.
Tasks of Personal Care. Taking a bath or a shower means getting cold. So for this reason (and others!), many seniors try to avoid washing themselves. Caregivers help senior clients with bathing, grooming and other hygiene areas. In wintertime, often the skin needs extra attention, as cold outdoor conditions and dry indoor air can cause chapping and irritation.
Listen to the Doctor. Our caregivers will transport seniors to doctor appointments, and sit in on the meeting. Trips to the pharmacy can be every 10 days. Our staff also provides medication reminders, and will handle grocery shopping for nutritious meals and snacks. Seniors can require constant reminders on health and safety compliance. Physical activity may be a series of exercises for muscle and balance maintenance in arms, legs, ankles, and knees. Exercise will provide better blood flow and circulation. And, good health can provide a positive emotional mood. Our caregiver staff can take your loved one for a walk in an indoor mall or help with a home exercise program.
Peace of Mind. Having knowledgeable, local in-home care services will assure you that your elderly parents are safe and accounted for. Knowing you’ve got coverage for Mom & Dad is a HUGE help. It relieves worry of the unknown. A typical snowstorm brewing means your parents might be buried until the plows finally get to their street. But you’ve got other, local people you can call for assistance and homecare services.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164