It’s happening as we speak – the seasons are beginning to change, the weather cooling down, the days getting shorter. Though we cannot stop the changing of the seasons and what comes about because of it, we can prepare those who might be affected most.
With the weather beginning to cool down and the evening hours, waning away, some patterns, habits, and general activities of the elderly may take a sharp turn. Whether it be from the cold, the disruption of loss of daylight or even general discomfort due to the exiting summer months, many elderly find themselves at a loss for what to do during this transitional phase.
Beyond their personal routine, certain dangers can arise that effect the elderly more severely than younger people during the fall and winter months. Hypothermia, falling, Vitamin D deficiency, and seasonal affective disorder are all reasons for extra concern during the colder months – but for the most part can be properly prevented.
If your elderly family members have an outdoor routine that they would wish to continue through the fall and winter – walking, jogging, etc – make sure that they have warm, comfortable clothing to wear without issue and that their paths are routes not impeded by ice or debris. Now, if the cold proves to be too much for staying outside but the desire to move around still exists, help them find an appropriate indoor location where they may continue with staying active in warmth and comfort.
Keeping the elderly active during these months is paramount to staving off seasonal depression and many other mental fatigue-like symptoms, so whatever their passion may be, do your best to see that it continues.
With all of this in mind, it’s a smart and safe idea to begin checking in on your elderly family members more frequently. Checking to see if their HVAC system is used appropriately, if they are comfortable and not suffering any depression or fatigue, and seeing them for a visit.
With a little planning, this transitional time can be much easier for your loved ones to enjoy their lives during the fall and winter months.
AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis, locally RN-owned and RN-managed, was founded in 1994 by Jacqueline Phillips, RN, BSN, to serve seniors and their families. Our mission is to provide every client with the highest possible standard of private, home health care with the same level of kindness, love and respect we would give our own family members. Jane Olsen, RN, Director of Nursing/Operations, has been an integral part of AccuCare for more than 20 years. Jane and members of her nursing team make weekly visits at no additional cost to each of our 24-hour cases for clients who require medicine management and other immediate medical needs. For questions, please call 314.472.3393, or send an email to [email protected] To learn more, please visit www.accucare.com.