So many problems can occur in the winter. Viruses like the flu and cold often pick up as kids return to school and families gather for Thanksgiving and Christmas. People in cooler climates need to heat their homes and tightly seal windows from winter’s drafts, which means the same air is circulating for weeks and months.
Contagious diseases are one issue. For older adults, hypothermia is another risk. Going outside and falling in colder temperatures is a risk. Frozen pipes, furnace or boiler issues, and wintry roads are other risks. With these tips, you and your parents can stay healthy and safe all winter long.
Avoid Trips in Inclement Weather
Before heading out on snowy or icy roads, you need to decide if it’s necessary. Appointments can be shifted to another day. Shopping trips are rarely critical. It’s better to stay home and wait for the weather to improve.
If you have to go out and slide off the road, you’ll have food and water, warm blankets and clothing, and equipment to try to dig your car out of a snowbank. Flares alert others that your car is off the road. Sand or cat litter provides traction to get back on the road.
Dress in Layers
Wearing layers is the best way to stay warm enough both inside and out. If your parents go outside for a walk, layers provide insulation that keeps their blood temperature from dropping to unsafe levels. A hat, gloves, scarf, and water-resistant jacket are all important.
If your parents feel cold inside, they can add a layer, If they feel too warm, they remove a layer. That’s why layers are important both inside and out.
To protect against viruses, your parents need to get into the habit of washing their hands throughout the day. If they’ve been shopping and touched a cart, they need to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If they can’t get to a sink, hand sanitizer is important until they can.
Eat the Right Foods
Your parents need to eat foods that benefit the immune system. Foods that are high in antioxidants include fresh vegetables, fruits, and seeds like chia seeds. Cooking meals from scratch is often better than frozen dinners or takeout.
Make sure they drink plenty of water. They want to stay hydrated and keep flushing the kidneys of any germs that build up.
Is someone around to check on your parents each day or a few times a week? You’ll have peace of mind knowing that their heating system is operating correctly and supplies like food and medications are stocked. Home care services helps with this.
Home care services aides can stop by and prepare several days of meals. You can arrange home care services like housekeeping, transportation, organization, and scheduling. Talk to our care specialist to discuss prices.