As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to health problems. The winter season can be particularly tough on our health, especially for elderly people. It can be tricky to stay in tip-top condition, so it is important to stay on top of our health. So, we have developed this guide with our winter health tips for elderly people.
Jabs and Vaccinations
As we all know, winter brings cold weather, dark evenings and, unfortunately, a higher risk of picking up illnesses such as the flu. Whilst we have many health tips for the elderly, this one is perhaps the most important. You must make sure that you are protected against these illnesses. The flu jab is available free of charge on the NHS for people who are at risk, which includes anyone over the age of 65. It’s also a good idea to get vaccinated against pneumococcal disease – this can cause pneumonia and is particularly dangerous for elderly people. Furthermore, elderly and vulnerable people can receive their booster vaccines to protect them against COVID-19.
One of our winter health tips for elderly people that is often forgotten is keeping warm. When temperatures outside drop, it’s important to make sure that we keep warm both indoors and out. Older people can be particularly vulnerable to health problems caused by cold weather, so it’s important to take steps to stay warm and well.
- Wear plenty of layers when you go outside, including a hat and scarf.
- If you can, try to keep active as this will help to generate heat and keep your circulation going.
- Eat hot meals and drink warm drinks regularly throughout the day
- Make sure that you have a well-stocked cupboard of winter-warming foods such as soups, stews and pasta dishes.
- If you have any health conditions that make you extra sensitive to the cold, make sure that you follow any advice from your health professional about staying warm
Spot Early Signs of Illness
It is important to be aware of the early signs of illness so that you can seek medical help if necessary. Some of the more serious health conditions that can occur in winter include:
- Hypothermia: This occurs when your body temperature falls below 35 degrees Celsius. Symptoms include shivering, confusion, drowsiness and loss of consciousness. If you think you may be experiencing hypothermia, it is important to get indoors and warm up immediately.
- Heart Attacks: Heart attacks are more common in winter, probably because cold weather puts extra strain on the heart. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and feeling faint. If you think you may be having a heart attack, it is important to call 999 immediately
- Strokes: Like heart attacks, strokes are also more common in winter. This is thought to be because cold weather causes blood vessels to constrict, which can lead to a clot. Symptoms of a stroke include feeling weak or numb down one side of the body, difficulties speaking or understanding speech and sudden vision problems. If you think someone may be having a stroke, it is important to call 999 immediately.
An active body (and mind) is a great way to stay healthy. Exercise is a great way to boost our circulation and immunity, both of which are important in winter. There are lots of ways to keep active, even if you don’t fancy going to the gym. Here are some ideas:
- Take a brisk walk every day, even if it’s just around the block.
- Do some simple exercises at home, such as sit-to-stands or chair squats.
- Join an exercise class designed for older people, such as Tai Chi or Yoga.
- If you can’t get out of the house, there are plenty of online workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
For those that are less mobile, there are plenty of exercises that can be recommended as part of our health tips for elderly people. At Hilgay Care Home, we ensure that every resident stays as active as possible to stay healthy.
The activity also protects our mental health. In winter, we can often feel low or down due to the lack of sunlight. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and it affects around 1 in 15 people in the UK. To combat SAD, it is important to make sure that you get out of the house for a walk or some other activity every day, even if it’s just for a short while. As you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which make us feel better and improve your mood.
As well as exercising regularly, eating healthily is also important for our overall health and well-being. This is one of our most effective health tips for elderly people. In winter, we tend to crave comfort foods that are high in fat and sugar. While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself occasionally, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting a balanced diet.
Some of the healthiest winter foods include:
- Soups: A bowl of hot soup is the perfect winter comfort food. Soups are also packed full of vitamins and minerals, which will help to keep you healthy.
- Winter fruits and vegetables: Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is important for our health all year round. In winter, there are plenty of seasonal fruits and veggies to enjoy, such as oranges, grapefruits, kale and parsnips.
- Oats: Oats are a great source of fibre, which is important for our digestion. They’re also low in sugar and calories, making them a healthy breakfast option.
- Fish: Fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are important for our health. In winter, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel are especially good for us.
Wrap Up Warm
One of the best ways to stay healthy in winter is to wrap up warm when you go outside, or even if you’re chilly inside. Keeping warm helps to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia.
Some simple tips for staying warm in winter include:
- Dressing in layers: Wearing multiple layers of clothing is a great way to trap heat and stay warm.
- Wearing a hat: A lot of heat escapes from our heads, so it’s important to wear a hat or scarf when it’s cold outside.
- Wearing gloves: Keeping our hands warm is important, as they are often the first part of our body to feel the cold.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Good hygiene is important for our health all year round, but it’s especially important in winter when cold and flu viruses are more prevalent. Some simple tips for maintaining good hygiene include:
- Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly: This is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.
- Cleaning surfaces: Regularly cleaning surfaces such as door handles, tables and countertops will help to reduce the spread of germs.
- Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze: This will help to prevent the spread of germs to other people.
Maintaining good hygiene is one of our most important winter health tips for elderly people. It is particularly important because as we age, our immune system becomes weaker and we become more susceptible to illness. Winter brings an increased amount of germs and illnesses, so be sure to give yourself the best chance to avoid them.
Another great way to stay healthy during winter is to take supplements, such as vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for our health all year round, but we tend to get less of it in winter due to the lack of sunlight. Taking a supplement can help to prevent health problems such as osteoporosis and heart disease. If you’re unsure about which supplements to take, speak to your GP or pharmacist.
We hope that our winter health tips for elderly people come in handy! If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment with our fantastic staff at Hilgay Care Home, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 01444 244756 or email@example.com. We would be more than happy to discuss our winter health tips for elderly people or tell you all about our residential and respite services at our fantastic care home.
Article: Phoenix Marketing