Planning for Winter
Winter is coming.
While winter doesn’t technically begin until late December, northern Michigan typically feels its first signs in October. Colder temperatures, freezing rain, and even snow are all possibilities going forward. Between slick roads and hibernation mindset, the winter tends to be a dangerous and potentially depressing time for anyone. Those risks are even more pronounced for seniors, which makes planning ahead for the coming season that much more important.
The most obvious challenges here are the physical ones. Older adults are often at higher risk for fall-related injuries than younger generations, thanks to reduced balance and more fragile bones. The winter heightens those risks further, with ice and snow turning driveways, walkways, sidewalks, and porch steps into safety hazards.
These issues can also lead to consequences for mental health. In general, people aren’t out and about as much in the wintertime. The dangerous conditions and the unwelcoming outdoor temperatures combine to keep most of us cloistered in our homes or workplaces. The result, for seniors, is often social isolation. With fewer opportunities to spend time with friends or family, seniors run the risk of becoming depressed during the winter months.
The good news is that there are things you can do to help the seniors in your life this winter. Making plans for regular snow removal at their homes will enable them to get out and about if they need to, and will make visiting them easier too. Keeping up with regular plans for interaction and engagement—be it a weekly family dinner or a special outing—can fight isolation. If the senior needs regular care and companionship, then perhaps hiring a caregiver from Comfort Keepers is the way to go.
Finally, don’t forget about food and nutrition. It’s easy to fall into bad dietary habits in the winter, when fresh produce is harder to come by and getting out of the house for a grocery run is more difficult. Options like Meals on Wheels or our meal delivery service at Comfort Keepers can help make sure seniors are getting the meals they need every day.