Winter can present unique challenges for seniors, but with some careful planning and extra
precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable winter season. Here are some tips to keep
you warm and safe this winter season:

  1. Stay hydrated: Seniors are especially prone to dehydration because they tend to eat
    and drink less than younger people. It is important to drink plenty of water, and even
    add electrolytes. Another great form of hydration that is warm, is non-caffeinated tea,
    such as Chamomile.
  2. Dress for the weather: Mittens, scarves, sweaters, hats, and warm winter coats are a
    few must-have articles of clothing necessary for colder climates. Older people tend to
    get chilled easily so even when indoors they should be dressed in warm comfortable
    layers that are easy to take on and off if they get too cold or too warm. Warm socks,
    closed back slippers, and throw blankets are also helpful to keep you warm and toasty.
  3. Keep the Thermostat set appropriately: Keep in mind that seniors are susceptible to
    hypothermia, even indoors, so the thermostat should never be set lower than 65 degrees
    for a person who is 75 or older. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) recommends
    setting the heat between 68 and 70 degrees to keep elders safe.
  4. Stay Active: Exercise regularly to maintain strength and flexibility, which can help
    prevent falls. Consider indoor exercise such as chair yoga or gentle stretching if it’s too
    cold to go outside. Exercise will keep your blood flowing and boost those feel good
    endorphins that help ward off the winter blues.
  5. Get A Flu Shot: Get a flu shot to prevent seasonal influenza, which is more prevalent
    during the winter months. Make sure to check with your doctor to see if the flu shot is
    appropriate for you.
  6. Socialize: Combat the feelings of isolation that the winter months can bring by staying
    socially active. Join clubs, attend community events, and invite friends and family over.
    Check in on your neighbors, especially during severe weather to ensure that everyone is
    safe. You can do this by phone to avoid actually going out in severe weather.
  7. Prepare For Power Outages: Make an emergency kit containing flashlights, batteries,
    a lantern or two, candles, matches, non perishable food, and necessary medications.
    Keep a battery powered radio to stay informed on weather conditions and emergency
    alerts. Also keep any emergency contacts in your kit, as well as programmed into your
    cell phone. Keep a wireless charger for your cell phone in your kit.
  8. Proper Nutrition: Eat a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to keep your
    immune system strong. Eat plenty of lean meats (turkey and chicken), healthy fats
    (avocados and nuts), whole grains’ dairy (cheese, yogurt, milk), and fruits and
    vegetables. Take a multivitamin if indicated by your doctor.

    Staying safe and warm in the winter months is important for seniors. With a bit of careful
    planning and self care, it is possible to have a warm, safe, and cozy winter. So grab a friend
    and a blanket, settle in by the fire, and enjoy your winter season!