Individuals who are elderly may be largely confined to their homes during the winter. The hazards of trying to get around on ice and snow may make it more reasonable to stay indoors and wait for the warmer spring days to arrive. However, being confined to the home can cause feelings of isolation that can negatively impact one’s health. Here are a few ways you can ensure your continued good health throughout the cold weather months.
Regardless of your age, everyone needs to maintain physical activity in order to be healthy. When you are confined at home, it may be more difficult, but you can still find ways to “get moving” to keep improve your cardiovascular system and reduce joint pain that occurs due to osteoarthritis. Seniors can find a number of exercise programs on TV. You can also find a number of videos on YouTube especially designed for seniors. Amazon and other online retailers can provide CDs of a variety of exercise regimes, such as chair yoga, dancing or other activities.
Seniors often suffer more from the cold that younger people. Have a knitted throw on hand to toss over your shoulders or lap when you’re feeling chilled. If your bedroom heats unevenly, you may want to invest in an electric blanket that will keep you warm throughout the night.
Have a Hobby
Research finds that elders who stay mentally engaged live longer, healthier lives. Even when confined in winter, you can still enjoy hobbies such as knitting, painting, reading, playing cards or watching movies.
Know Your Limits
If you find that you don’t feel energetic enough to cook or if you feel unwell, intervene on your own behalf to tell others that you need a little extra help with cooking or getting to the doctor. If family or friends aren’t available, you can arrange with a home health care agency to send a caregiver for a short period of time a few days each week to help with light housekeeping, meals or transportation to doctors.
Stay Connected to Others
Smartphones, regular telephones and computers can provide the daily social interaction that will help to keep you emotionally happy and intellectually stimulated. Take the time to connect with loved ones and old friends to find out how they are doing and relate how you are faring. This action can help to keep you in a good frame of mind, as well as in better health.
Being confined to the indoors during cold weather can be difficult, but you can take measures to maintain your physical and mental health until the warmer weather arrives.