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8 steps for senior citizens to keep healthy during winter

Health

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Winters in India can be mild or severe depending upon which part of the country you live in. However, as we age, even milder ones can cause discomfort and increase the risk of illnesses and allergies. As a senior in India, you can take simple measures for that extra precaution during the winter months to stay healthy and safe. Here are some tips to help you take care of yourself during winter:

1. Stay warm: Seniors risk developing hypothermia, a condition where, due to prolonged exposure to cold weather, the body temperature suddenly drops below normal levels (95 degrees F), causing shock to vital organs. 

Keep the body wrapped in appropriate winter gear. Invest in the best quality woollen and variable winter wear like sweaters, shawls, scarves, socks, and gloves. Use skid-proof slippers at home if the floor is non-carpeted. Maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and use a room heater if necessary. If you need to go outside, use sturdy footwear with good traction to prevent slips and falls.

2. Stay active: Winters are synonymous with cloudy and dull skies, and one is hardly motivated to step out. However, physical activity becomes paramount in maintaining mobility during colder seasons. Seniors often face the risk of a fall or stiff joints in the winter than in other seasons. Even if you can't go outside to walk or exercise, there are many indoor activities like light stretching, yoga, or resistance band exercises to keep your muscles strong.

3. Stay hydrated: It is easy to forget to drink enough water when the weather does not demand it. Not consuming enough fluids can lead to dehydration and increased chances of urinary tract infection, among other health conditions. Ensure to drink plenty of water and warm beverages like tea and soup to keep your body hydrated. You can even keep a flask of warm water handy at all times that will soothe dry throat.

4.  Moisturize your skin: Seniors often neglect to adopt a skincare routine. As we advance in age, our skin loses its firmness and natural oil, making us susceptible to rashes and itchiness. The condition is worse during the winter. The best way to combat skin dryness is to use a heavy moisturizing lotion after a bath and reapply as needed. Massaging the body with coconut oil before a bath also helps to retain moisture. Also, ensure the water is tepid and not hot during a bath.

5. Eat a healthy diet: Increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals is a natural preventive measure against cold and cough. Develop the habit of consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and lean protein. Also, consider taking vitamin supplements to ensure your body gets nourished.

A home remedy to combat throat irritation and cold: 

Heat a concoction of ginger juice. Add a pinch of turmeric and pepper powder. Once the mixture froths at the sides, switch off the flame and add a generous dollop of honey. Drink this mixture 2 to 3 times a day to ease the condition. 

6. Get a flu shot: The flu can be particularly dangerous for seniors, so doctors now advise flu vaccines for better immunity. Talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot and other vaccines that can help protect you from illness.

7. Protect yourself from air pollution: The winter months in India are also known for high levels of air pollution. Post Covid, the winter months also contain higher levels of viral strains. Use a mask when outdoors and avoid crowded indoor gatherings. Additionally, consider investing in an air purifier for your home to improve indoor air quality.

8. Stay in touch: Cold and foggy days play havoc on the mind. It is natural to feel low on energy, and seniors might notice that they are not motivated to step out and meet people. However, it is imperative to socialize and remain connected with family, friends, and community members. Meaningful conversations are scientifically proven to be mood boosters because they release feel-good endorphins in our system.  Make time for social interaction and keep the human association alive. 

A few simple steps can go a long way in maintaining physical and mental well-being during winter. 

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A society that cares for its senior citizens is a civilized and enlightened society. The aging happens on its own without any prompting from our side! It is an issue of mind over matter…if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!

Contact

  • Vedaanta Senior Living Pvt. Ltd.,
    Vedaanta Satsang,
    Sundakkamuthur Village Road,
    Kovaiputhur, Coimbatore,
    Tamil Nadu 641010
  • +91 844 844 4714
  • info@vedaanta.com

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