If you are a caregiver or the loved one of an elderly person, you are probably concerned about their health and want to make sure they are comfortable and able to live the best life possible. You may be aware that elderly people have a tendency to feel cold. This can be due to thinning skin, slower metabolic rates, or other factors. Besides arranging for them to visit their doctor, one of the best ways to help your loved one is to make sure they have the appropriate items to stay warm, especially during winter. Here are six ways to help the elderly stay warm in winter:
1. Wear Warm Clothing
Wearing multiple warm layers of clothing is a great way for elderly people to stay warm in winter. A thick wool layer such as an aran sweater is great for both staying warm and looking stylish. These lovely sweaters come in many colors and make wonderful gifts that can last for many seasons to come. They can even be passed down to the next generation.
2. Use Electric or Fleece Blankets
It’s important to provide adequate bedding for your elderly loved one to stay warm during the night. Electric blankets are a popular option that provide adjustable temperature settings for optimal sleeping conditions. However, they do come with some risks for certain groups of people. You may consider a fleece blanket, which is softer than alternate fabrics and can achieve a similar effect, especially when used in combination with other bedding layers such as down comforters.
3. Drink Hot Beverages
For seniors, having access to warm beverages provides a great way to warm up during the winter months. You can provide your elderly loved one with healthy beverages like decaffeinated herbal teas, which are delicious and also come with other health benefits. You can also consider giving them an electric hot water pot, which makes hot water for tea much faster than other methods. Not only are hot beverages soothing for your loved one, but also they can be a wonderful treat to offer when they are entertaining visitors.
4. Provide a Space Heater
If your elderly loved one spends time in their bedroom or living room during the day while enjoying activities like reading, knitting, or crossword puzzles, they may feel cold, especially if these rooms are drafty. A great way to address this is to provide a small space heater, which can be plugged in to heat up a room efficiently. These space heaters are inexpensive to purchase, do not require any installation effort, provide instant heat, and can be moved from room to room. Although these heaters must be monitored and turned off at regular intervals for safety, they can be a great way to provide temporary warmth to indoor spaces.
5. Invest in a Humidifier
Since humid air tends to feel warmer than dry air, consider adding a humidifier to your loved one’s home to improve their comfort. In addition to warmth, humidifiers have other health benefits, including alleviating dry skin, preventing the spread of airborne viruses, helping with sinus and allergy symptoms, and preventing snoring. Although they may cost more, some humidifier models also have a warm temperature setting. Consider selecting one of these models to achieve the best environment for your loved one.
6. Get Active
One of the least costly and easiest ways for the elderly to stay warm during winter is for them to keep active. Even simple things like playing a board game, taking care of small housework tasks, or doing simple exercises while seated in a chair are all great ways to stay active and maintain body temperatures. These simple exercises can be done throughout the day at regular intervals to achieve maximum effect.
Consider these simple tips to not only help your elderly loved one keep warm, but also to help them stay happy and healthy all winter long.