Winter Health Tips for the Aging

Individuals of all ages can become more irritable and depressed during the long, cold days of winter. Even the slightest physical activity can stimulate the brain and make you feel happier, which also promotes good overall health. Endorphins, dopamine and adrenaline get a boost from physical activity, which becomes more and more difficult when it’s cold outside. For our aging loved ones, it can be even more difficult to stay positive and focus on good health in the winter. However, there are some things that can help cut down on the winter blues and keep you feeling healthier.

Stay active.

Even regular stretching aids in your health. Too cold to walk outside? Take laps around the home to get the heart rate up. Many gyms also offer discounts for seniors with appropriately aged programs and classes. Always consult with a physician before starting any kind of exercise.

Maintain a balanced diet.

Eating healthy is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The summer market may be closed, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of healthy options available in the frozen section of the grocery store. Frozen vegetables are healthy and have less sodium than the canned versions. Indulge in foods rich in zinc and take vitamins, like vitamin C, to stay healthy all winter. Frozen fruit blends also make great smoothies for the pickiest loved ones!

Vitamin D…for strong bones and more.

Not only is vitamin D great for strong bones, but it also helps to regulate many other cellular functions of the body. When the days are darker and gloomy during the winter, it truly does affect your mood. Sunshine, and its vitamin D boost, is a wonderful way to improve your spirit. Grab some green tea and sit by a sunny window on the days it’s just too cold to get outside. When temperatures rise even a few minutes of sun and fresh air can really make a difference.

The power of community.

We can feel quite isolated during the winter months when there isn’t much to do. Many aging loved ones that don’t drive anymore can’t hop in their car and visit a friend or go shopping. There are things we can do to make sure the aging and their caregivers don’t feel like they are alone during the long months of winter. Make a FaceTime call, drop off a care package or assist in running errands to help. You’d be surprised how a small gesture can make a big difference in a person’s day.

Overall health and wellness this winter can be achieved by eating right, staying active and communicating with others about your feelings. If you begin to feel your sadness and isolation is more severe, there is help available. If you or a loved one is feeling in crisis, seek help immediately by contacting your health provider’s office or by calling 9-1-1.

From palliative care to grief support, Family Hospice provides services to individuals and their families that can help determine a patient’s limitations, emotional stability, medical needs and more. Sometimes patients begin to feel better under hospice care and when their disease is stabilized, returning to hospice care when and if the need arises. Let Family Hospice help you navigate these uncertain times, with compassionate and experienced support.





In supporting our Tree of Memories program through the holiday season, we make ornaments available at our kiosk at St. Clair Square from November 30 through December 22.


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