How To Stay Healthy in Winter: For Seniors

Any seniors in the house? Here’s how to stay healthy and live your best life this chilly season.
How To Stay Healthy in Winter: For Seniors

Winter has its charm. With comforting delights like delicious soups and mugs of mulled wine, creating cosy moments at home has never been easier! However, for seniors (and those averse to the cold) the colder months can bring about loneliness and anxiety, especially when it comes to concerns about colds, viruses, and other illnesses. Looking for ways to stay healthy this winter? Scroll on. 

Stay up to date with your vaccines

Since seniors are more susceptible to respiratory infections such as the flu, pneumonia, or bronchitis, it’s important to get the flu vaccine in advance. Our immunity is strongest and most effective for 3-4 months after vaccination (and flu season typically runs from June to September), so experts recommend getting your jab in April or May. You should also practise good hand hygiene and avoid close contact with sick individuals all year round. 

Do daily gentle stretches

At any age, it’s important to remain active. As a senior you need to keep that body moving, so performing gentle stretches every day is a great way to maintain the condition of your muscles and your flexibility. You can visit a specialised physiotherapist to help you find the right stretches and exercises that suit your body and preferences, and/or use heating pads or warm compresses to alleviate discomfort. 

Keep up your Vitamin D supplements

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 23 per cent, or one in four Australian adults lack enough vitamin D. Older adults, especially those aged 70 and above, need more vitamin D because they are at a higher risk of conditions like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

During winter, seniors may also get less sunlight, leading to vitamin D deficiency, which can impact bone health and increase the risk of osteoporosis. To counter this, consider vitamin D supplements and include vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish in your diet for better overall health. 

Stay warm indoors and outdoors

The constant reminders from our parents and grandparents to “grab a jacket” echo in our minds for a reason – dressing warmly is essential in winter. This means layering up to trap body heat and opting for insulating fabrics like wool or thermal materials to help regulate body temperature. Don’t forget to add a beanie, scarf, and gloves for extra warmth. 

Tip: Keeping the house cosy involves closing windows and doors to retain warmth, and it’s also a good idea to invest in extra blankets to stay extra snug!

Stay hydrated and create a plan for medication management

It’s crucial to drink water regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty, to prevent dehydration. Also, managing medications properly is vital during winter. Seniors should plan and refill their medications before winter to avoid running out during extreme weather.

Weather conditions may cause delays in prescription refills, so it's important to plan for that. If you can't go out, consider asking a family member, neighbour, or friend to get your medication, or explore council services that can assist you. 

Wrap up

Following these tips helps seniors stay safe, comfortable, and healthy during the winter. Now all that’s left to do is go blanket shopping and invite over your favourite people for a recurring winter wonderland tea-time (because it’s important to stay social as you age!) Stay warm out there!

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Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.

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