Seniors are at risk for injury and illness in winter, and as the days get colder, it’s important for them to be aware of potential hazards. Here are five threats the elderly face in winter.
1. Hypothermia and frostbite
Seniors lose body heat more quickly than younger adults. Plus, thyroid issues, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and some medications make it difficult for them to detect when they’re getting too cold. Therefore, seniors should make sure to bundle up before heading out¬doors and avoid being in the cold for long periods.
Seniors have a high risk of falling, and it’s essential they take extra precautions in winter. They should avoid walking at night, wear boots with non-skid soles, ensure steps and sidewalks are clear of snow, and place an ice pick or rubber tip on the end of their cane.
3. Car accidents
Roads can be treacherous in winter. If driving, seniors should have winter tires on their vehicles. In addition, they should keep a charged cell phone in their vehicle as well as an emergency kit with jumper cables, blankets, and first aid supplies.
4. House fires
Using space heaters, candles and fireplaces increase the house fire risk. To prevent this, ensure heaters are placed sufficiently away from furniture and curtains and never leave a fire unattended. Additionally, smoke alarms should be inspected regularly.
5. Carbon monoxide poisoning
Turning on your furnace could trigger a carbon monoxide leak. It’s a colorless, odorless gas, so you need a carbon monoxide detector. Symptoms of CO poisoning include a dull headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea.
Seniors can stay safe throughout the season by being aware of winter hazards and taking steps to prevent mishaps.
15 ideal retirement destinations
Do you want to make the most of retirement by seeing the world but aren’t sure where to fly first? Here are 15 destinations that are great for seniors. Choose from the category that best suits your goals and travel preferences.
Chase the sun
Do you like to travel during the winter to enjoy warm temperatures all year round? You’ll undoubtedly love these countries where the sun is nearly always there to greet you.
2. Costa Rica
Take it easy
If you want to get away from it all, settle into a comfortable routine and enjoy magnificent landscapes, these destinations are for you. Even your own country has hidden gems for you to discover.
7. The U.S.A
Experience something unique
Do you want to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience, unlike anything you’ve ever seen? If you’re looking for a journey out of the ordinary, these destinations won’t disappoint.
11. Galapagos Islands
13. South Africa
Each of these destinations offers numerous possibilities for you to enjoy your retirement to the fullest. Visit a travel agency to plan your journey. Don’t forget to take advantage of special offers for seniors.
How to help a loved one who’s suffered a stroke
Has a loved one of yours suffered a stroke? You may feel at a loss for how to support their rehabilitation. Here are some suggestions for helping them regain their autonomy.
Learn about strokes
Document the physical and emotional changes that may be affecting your loved one so you can better understand their needs. It’s possible they may suffer subsequent strokes. Therefore, knowing how to intervene quickly will help both of you. Learn how to recognize signs and symptoms, like speech difficulties or weakness on one side of the body, so you’ll be prepared if the need arises.
Go with them to rehab
Your loved one’s rehabilitation begins as soon as their condition becomes sufficiently stable. It includes tasks and exercises recommended by the various healthcare professionals overseeing their recovery. Join in on those activities to make it a little more fun and keep your loved one motivated.
Take care of yourself
Helping a stroke survivor can take its toll on your well-being. It may even become a physical, emotional, and financial burden. Although your role in your loved one’s rehabilitation is essential, it’s also crucial that you not neglect yourself. You can unburden yourself of some worries simply by confiding in a friend. Seek extra help from another family member or community organization. Even spending time on a hobby can be restorative.
Visit heart.org to learn more about stroke, join a support group for caregivers and get more self-care tips.
Audiobooks: Rediscover the pleasure of storytelling
Have you always loved reading but now find it difficult to see the words on the page? Do you find it hard to hold heavy books? Regardless of whether your reading ability has diminished, you can still experience the magic of audiobooks.
What’s an audiobook?
An audiobook is a publication — be it a crime novel, fantasy series, or biography — recorded in an audible medium. The reader may be a volunteer, celebrity, professional reader, or the book’s author. The intonations may enhance your listening experience in the reader’s voice or whether the recording includes sound effects.
What does it look like?
The audiobook may be in the form of a digital file or a compact disk. You may need to download it to a device to enjoy it if it’s a digital file. A simple internet connection may work as well.
How do you listen to an audiobook?
If the audiobook is on a compact disk, insert it directly into an appropriate reader and press play. It may take a few steps to listen online or via an app downloaded to your tablet or smartphone for a digital file.
Where do you get them?
Digital audiobooks are available on several online platforms, like online libraries or e-reader businesses. You can get compact disks from your local library. A library is a great option if you’re on a tight budget. Whatever format you select, make sure you choose one compatible with your device.
Four tips to help seniors stay warm in winter
Seniors are sensitive to the cold due to metabolic changes that make it difficult for them to generate enough heat. Here are four tips for staying warm this winter.
1. Adjust the heat
Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature. If you want to keep your electricity bill down, increase the heat in rooms you frequently use and lower it everywhere else.
2. Dress appropriately
Wear wool clothing as much as possible. This material keeps you warmer than fabrics like cotton and polyester. Don’t forget to keep your hands, feet, and head covered too. This is where you lose most of your body heat. Plus, wearing thick socks and slippers will prevent your feet from touching cold floors.
Wear several layers of clothing to ensure you stay warm when going outdoors.
3. Eat well
To stay warm, your body needs to burn a fair amount of calories. Consequently, eating a balanced diet can help you fight the cold. Be sure to eat hot, hearty meals and drink plenty of water. Sipping herbal tea throughout the day is a great way to stay warm and hydrated.
4. Use accessories
If necessary, use a heated blanket when watching TV or put a hot water bottle in your bed a few minutes before you go to sleep.
If, despite your best efforts, you still struggle to stay warm, make sure to consult your doctor.
What you need to know about age-related hearing loss
Hearing problems can affect people of all ages. However, age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, affects nearly half of all people who are 75 and older. Here’s what you need to know about hearing loss as you get older.
The tiny hair cells inside your ear can become damaged or die as you age. Unfortunately, this causes progressive hearing loss.
However, hearing issues can also develop if the nerve pathways that carry information to your brain become less efficient. This can occur due to hereditary factors, various health conditions, and taking certain medications.
In addition, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease can accelerate hearing loss.
Cell degeneration mainly affects the part of your ear responsible for hearing high-pitched sounds. Consequently, if you have presbycusis, you may be able to hear low-pitched noises but not register high-pitched ones. Your brain will therefore need to work extra hard to fill in the information gaps, which can make communication difficult.
Regrettably, age-related hearing loss is permanent. However, solutions like wearing hearing aids can improve your quality of life.
To have your hearing tested, consult an audiologist.
Five benefits of stretching
Regular stretching provides numerous health benefits as you age, and when combined with other types of exercise, it can add years to your life. Here are five reasons to stretch regularly.
1. Improve flexibility
As you age, your muscles shorten and lose elasticity. Stretching keeps you flexible and helps you maintain your mobility.
2. Avert injuries
Stretching improves your balance and strength, which can reduce your risk of falling. This will likely help you feel more confident when moving around and performing your daily tasks.
3. Boost blood circulation
Stretching stimulates blood flow and increases the oxygen supply to your muscles.
4. Prevent diseases
Maintaining an active lifestyle and stretching regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
5. Reduce soreness
Stretching can help minimize aches and pains. Ask a health professional for advice on which exercises to perform to target specific areas of your body.
To reap these benefits, stretch at least several times a week or as much as every day to reap these benefits.