Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Helping your Senior Stay Healthy this Winter

Cold and flu season has arrived, and this can put many people on high alert. Although these illnesses are usually a minor inconvenience for most people, for seniors they can pose greater risk. Some seniors have underlying health problems that can make battling these germs more difficult or lead to complications. There are several ways that you can help your loved one to boost their health this winter and reduce risk of getting sick:

  • Get vaccinated. This doesn’t mean just your aging parent – this means you and your family too. When caregivers and loved ones are also vaccinated, it can reduce the risk of them getting ill and spreading these germs to seniors. Your doctor may also recommend that your senior get the pneumococcal vaccine which can reduce risk of pneumonia.
  • Wash your hands. Ensure that your loved one has plenty of soap or hand sanitizer available. Whenever you go out in public or even touch commonly used objects, it is a good idea to wash your hands. Remind them to always wash up before and after eating or using the restroom.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Getting the proper amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can boost the immune system, ward off illness, and keep your elderly parent’s body stronger. What they eat will make a difference in how they feel, so ensure that they are eating right. An in-home caregiver can assist with shopping and meal preparation to reduce stress on your senior and make sure they have meals available.
  • Rest up. Sleep helps your body to repair itself and fight off germs. If your senior is not getting enough sleep, it can leave them feeling run down and weaken their immune system. When they are well rested they will have more energy and their body can heal.
  • Stay active. Physical activity is also important to staying healthy. Even something as simple as taking a brisk walk can be beneficial. Since walkways can be snowy or icy in the winter, consider alternative options such as the gym, school track, or even the mall. Exercise can improve circulation, heart health, and immunity which can all improve overall health.
  • Keep warm. Seniors can be more sensitive to the cold and lose body heat more quickly. Get their heating system checked to ensure it is working properly and seal up cracks along doors and windows. Make sure they dress warmly if going outside and have blankets and hot water available in their home.

These are just a few ways that you can help your senior to ward off illness this winter and boost their health. If you are concerned about their safety and wellbeing, hire an in-home care provider to check in and assist them with daily tasks. Senior services through Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville can support your loved one by helping them prepare meals, remember to take medication, schedule appointments, get in and out of bed, and more. Contact Always Best Care at (828) 989-7263 or visit us online to learn more about available senior services and schedule a consultation.

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