Tips For Taking Care Of The Elderly In Winter Season
Elders may face several difficulty during the winter season. A drop in temperature can trigger joint pain, dry skin, and much more. Here are some tips that can help in taking care of the elderly in winters.
Winter season care for the elderly: Joint pain may worsen in winters
- Elders should consume a healthy diet to prevent diseases
- Simple activities throughout the day can help them stay active
- Staying hydrated is important for your overall health
Seniors often suffer from weak immunity making them prone and vulnerable to infections. The changes in weather conditions can be problematic, too. With falling temperatures, the body tends to lose heat faster than it is producing causing hypothermia. With low body temperature, the blood vessels constrict, making it difficult for oxygen to reach the entire body. If this condition gets serious in the elderly, it may also result in heart attack, liver damage, and stroke. Also, respiratory problems and aggravation of asthmatic attacks are quite common in winters. Winters also result in dryness of skin due to lack of moisture in the air resulting in dehydration which in turn causes associated fungal infections.
Due to the cold weather outside, elders mostly stay indoors in winters. They face issues with mobility, exposure to the sun and daily activities are paused which results in aggravating body and joint pains; especially seen in people with problems like arthritis.
Some go-to tips for seniors and caregivers to keep them safe from severe winters:
1. Stay Warm
Stay indoors to keep body temperature in control. Drink warm water and wear warm clothes to avoid hypothermia.
2. Stay active
While staying indoors is crucial, it's important to take note that this will decrease the usual physical activity. Doing physical activity indoors will make you sweat which in turn, helps flush out toxins and keeps skin healthy. Movement increases blood circulation and the flow of oxygen in the body. Staying engaged also helps keep winter related depression at bay.
3. Stay hydrated
Usually, in winters water intake is less and there is a lack of moisture in the air. So this imbalance can dehydrate the body. It is always recommended to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
4. Take care of your skin
Cold and dry weather constricts the sweat glands which can make your skin dry. Moisturize the skin on a regular basis. Intake of water and other fluids will also help keep skin hydrated.
5. Food, supplements, and herbs
It's advised to take a lot of vitamins especially vitamin D (milk), vitamin B12, vitamin C (citrus fruits) and magnesium, calcium-rich food, omega 3 fatty acids (walnuts, chia seeds) in your diet. Vitamin D, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acid supplements will help ease the joint and leg pain. Herbs like tulsi, giloy, ashwagandha, raw haldi, black pepper, and pudina serve as important immunity boosters. Green leafy vegetables contain immense antioxidants and also help blood circulation in the body. They have proven to be beneficial in fighting free radicals and lowering cholesterol. A non-vegetarian diet can include chicken and eggs as well. For desserts, it is advisable to replace refined sugar with jaggery, honey, and stevia.
6. Building a routine
Starting your day with omega 3 fatty acids and ending it with a glass of warm milk will help build a healthy sleep cycle and good digestion. Keeping the overall diet low-fat is always recommended to beat health problems. Adding active and passive exercises like low motion exercises and light yoga to the daily routine will keep the body and mind fresh.
(Dr. Shabnam Mir is a Consultant Physician at Antara, Max Group and Head Clinical Operation Delhi/ NCR. Antara is an integrated service provider for all senior care needs)
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