It can be difficult for anyone to stay active when the weather is cold. But for our older family members, it is tempting to do nothing at all. Of course, falling is always a concern for seniors.
Safety is always the main focus when it comes to winter activities. But, there are ways to keep them safe and active when it’s cold outside. As long as it is something they enjoy.
Drive Them Places
Don’t let your older family members walk anywhere on their own. Falls after 60 are difficult to recover from and they shouldn’t risk it. Drive them to get groceries or run errands.
If you can’t be there to drive them get on to a ride-sharing program or make sure they take a cab. You may be able to get someone in the family who is willing to drive them places.
Run Errands For Them
Go and get their groceries for them or run errands. Come by the house and make sure the garbage is getting taken out and make sure their walkways are shoveled and clear.
Picking up groceries or other items they need saves them from having to go out and this way you get a chance to drop in to visit and make sure everything is okay with them.
When you are getting the groceries for them, you can make sure they are getting healthy choices. When older people are on their own, meal preparation and a well-balanced diet are often not followed.
Take Them to Social Functions
It’s important to stay active and to socialize. Make sure they get out to their regular functions, whether it’s a trip to the hair salon or a weekly card game with friends, make sure they get there and home again.
If they don’t have many activities, encourage them to join a group or some kind of activity they will enjoy. Knitting groups, taking a class, a book club, or a drop-in center for seniors.
Keep in touch with your older family, even if you live far away. Video calls so they can see you and their grandchildren are a great way to make sure that they are well and happy.
It can get very depressing for people when they can’t get out and see their friends or family. Dull grey skies make matters even worse. Drop by often, take them out for lunch or shopping, and make sure you help them keep appointments.
Check Their Clothing
Make sure they have appropriate winter clothing. Older people often feel that last year’s coat is just fine but they may have been saying that for several years.
Just make sure they have warm clothing that fits them correctly. They may have lost or gained weight, or they may be wearing old boots that are split or broken and no longer useful. Heavy socks, mittens, hats, and scarves, plus under layers, as well.
Prepare For Power Outages
Depending on where you live, there may be power outages. Make sure they have batteries, a working flashlight, tealights, a lighter, matches, and warm blankets and clothing.
Canned or packages of food that are ready to eat should be on hand, however, if the power is off for an extended period of time, you should come and get your loved one and take them to your place or someplace they will have heat and power.
Exercise The Mind
Keeping our minds working is just as important as our physical activity. Take them puzzles, books, games, and other books of puzzles like crosswords.
Spend time with them playing games or cards. For a more physical involvement, get them video games that require their participation. Even watching movies together at home is a great way to spend quality time together.
For as much as you can do, it’s impossible to be there all the time. For your own peace of mind and for the added safety of your loved one, consider a medical alert system.
A medical alert system allows them to instantly connect to emergency services when they need it. A press of the button connects them to help right away.