And if this winter bears any resemblance to last winter, it’s bound to be a doozy for seniors!
What can you do to make sure that you stay in good health and survive this upcoming winter?
Beware of falls!
Wherever you live- whether it’s a single-family home, condo, or somewhere else – make certain that you, or someone that you hire, keep sidewalks and other areas free of snow and ice.
Why is this so important?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), over 95 percent of hip fractures are due to falls, and older women in particular, are more than twice as likely as men to fracture their hips if they fall.
Furthermore, seniors 75 years of age and older who fall, are much more likely to require long-term care for a year or more.
Falls can cause hip, leg, arm and head injuries, making it much harder to get around and live independently.
So be sure that when snow accumulates, it’s cleared quickly. That’s a smart step to take to prevent falls that will keep you from enjoying the winter season.
Take preventative precautions
As we age, immune systems weaken, putting older adults at a higher risk for certain diseases. There are vaccine-preventable diseases which if contracted, especially by seniors, can lead to serious complications, hospitalization and even death. Be sure you’re up to date on vaccinations including the yearly influenza vaccine guarding against season flu, TD or Tdap vaccine protecting against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; pneumococcal vaccine preventing pneumonia, and the Zoster vaccine, which protects against shingles.
During the winter, it’s easy to become a couch potato, sitting on the sofa while watching your favorite sports team. Don’t let nasty weather keep you from exercising.
How about purchasing some workout videos that you can use to exercise at home? Of if you’re watching your pennies, check out some online exercise routines that you can view on your laptop computer. Or head over to your nearby sports store to purchase some colorful resistance exercise bands to work out with on a regular basis. They’re inexpensive, come in a variety of sizes, lengths and strengths, and they’ll give you a full body workout.
Eat a nutritious diet
Winter is no time to abandon nutritious eating habits. If you’re looking for some healthful wintertime recipes, type in “Healthy winter recipes” in the browser bar on your computer. You’ll then find a large number of nutritious recipes – soups, entrees and many other recipes – from a variety of online sources including epicurious.com, eatingwell.com and fitnessmagazine.com.