Top Five Health Issues Affecting the Elderly and How to Protect Them During Winter

Besides being very uncomfortable to the elderly population, this cold season brings with it a host of potential issues that may affect the physical and mental health of your loved ones. Knowing what these issues are, will help you protect them and keep them safe this winter. Here are some of the challenges your older folks are likely to face. 

Dry And Itchy Skin

When the skin loses moisture to the atmosphere due to the low humidity indoors and outdoors, it becomes dry and itchy and may feel uncomfortable. These simple measures will come in handy in protecting the skin of your elderly.:

  • Substituting their lotions with body and hand creams with moisturizers to regularly moisturize their hands and skin
  • When going out in the snow, protect their face using petroleum jelly.
  • In case of persistent itching after using a moisturizer, seek help from a dermatologist.

Arthritis Pain

The winter cold is likely to increase the arthritic pains in older people. To prevent arthritic joint pains, you could

  • You should ensure that they dress up warmly. For instance, you can wear mittens, beanies, hats, and socks.
  • You should ensure that they stay active throughout the winter, which is good for their joints.
  • You can add vitamin D supplements onto their diet since they are likely to be deficient in it as a result of lack of sunlight

Depression

When the elderly are confined indoors, they are likely to be depressed due to minimal physical and social activity. To deal with depression, you can have them see a counselling expert, who may offer some  free disability advice . Additionally, facilitate meetings with their peers if possible with whom they can share and reminisce old times. 

Colds And Viruses

Older people are most likely to get affected by the cold weather giving way to colds, chills, fever, and other seasonal infection symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Due to their low immunity, these infections are likely to affect them so adversely. However, there is hope. 

You can help ensure that the chances of contracting the cold and the other illnesses are low by keeping them warm. Additionally, you can ensure that they get proper rest, practice good hand washing and hygiene regularly, reduce stress and exercise, and feed them with a nutritious, balanced diet and mineral supplements to boost their immunity. When they contract the infections, you could treat the symptoms before they become severe

Frostbite

As the temperatures keep lowering, the chances of getting frostbite are getting higher by the moment. Not only are the elderly more susceptible, but the young people and those individuals with chronic illnesses are likely to develop frostbite. 

Frostbite develops when that water in the body’s soft tissues solidifies due to the cold, resulting in skin discolorations. However, frostbite can ultimately result in loss of function of the extremities such as the fingers, toes, and other body parts such as the face and nose.

Conclusion 

Older adults are affected mainly by the cold weather in the winter since their immunity is compromised. Therefore, it will be helpful to incorporate activities such as exercising, eating nutritious and well-balanced food, getting mineral supplements, and getting proper rest to improve their immunity.  Additionally, having friends and family engage them will help lift their moods, preventing depression.


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