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Winter Survival Tips for Seniors and Family Caregivers

Winter can pose a dilemma for caregivers and families taking care of seniors. Sometimes seniors refuse to bathe because of the cold and once they become cold it often takes a longer time for them to warm up. Battling over the thermostat is also challenge for caregivers.  While family members may be sweating because it’s so hot inside, their elderly loved ones are struggling to stay warm despite the heat being up.

With this in mind, here are some winter suggestions for families and those caring for elderly loved ones:

  1. Turn up the temperature before bath time. Space heaters or overhead heaters are helpful and need to be used very carefully. Put towels over the toilet seat and use plush rugs over tile floors, always staying with your loved one to make sure they don’t fall.
  2. Poor circulation causes seniors to have difficulty regulating body temperature.  Heating pads, layered clothing, or microwaved bean or rice bags can help seniors stay warm.  Use supervision when applying these and make sure they aren’t too hot or directly on the skin.  Use heating pads with an automatic shut-off switch.
  3. Keep seniors hydrated.  Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean seniors need less water. It’s so important to keep seniors well hydrated. This also helps with poor circulation.
  4. Use good moisturizers. Skin can become especially dry during the winter.
  5. Be especially cautious when going outside.  If your loved one needs to go out, make sure someone can accompany them. It may be better to wait for a clear, dry day rather than risk falling.

slip_and_fallEvery family is different and will need to adjust conditions to what works best for them, but these are all important considerations when caring for our elderly loved-ones. At Aspen Senior Care we train our caregivers to be attentive to seniors’ safety and special care. We want our clients to feel comfortable and safe in their homes. Call us for more information on how we can help: 801-224-5910.