As the winter months settle in, it is important that seniors prioritize their well-being. We recognize that winter presents its own set of challenges, so we have created a Winter Wellness Guide to help seniors not only endure the cold season but thrive in it. From fall prevention tips to staying active both mentally and physically, and offering ways to foster meaningful connections, this guide is your compass for a season of health, happiness, and warmth.
Listen To Your Body:
During the colder months, it is very important that seniors listen to their bodies. While it is easy to get caught up in the holidays and push your body to the limits, remember to focus on your overall health and well-being.
Set aside some time each day or each week to truly relax. Our bodies often operate in overdrive during the winter due to increased levels of stress, fatigue from shorter days, and protection against various viruses and infections. Whether relaxing means diving into a new book or lounging around on the couch, it is important to allocate that time, as it can help your body take a break and recover.
Ensure you are eating properly and incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. While fruits and vegetables may not be the most appealing on a cold winter’s day, they play a crucial role in keeping you hydrated and healthy. Also, make sure you are drinking plenty of water. It is easy to forget to drink as much water when you're not as hot, but it is crucial to keep your skin hydrated and your body healthy.
Check the weather if you plan to go out. Be aware of super low temperatures and icy weather, especially if your local area often sees snow. Dress in layers to keep your body warm and shielded from the elements. Additionally, navigate slippery surfaces with caution and don’t hesitate to utilize handrails or ask a team member for assistance. We are here to help!
Stay Active – Mentally & Physically:
With the colder temperatures, you may feel more inclined to stay indoors, but it is crucial to prioritize staying active. Seniors should continue to stay active to keep their minds and bodies sharp, especially in winter.
Try out different games and activities to keep your mind engaged. Some great options include puzzles and crosswords. Many of our communities offer these activities weekly, if not daily. These activities not only help keep the mind sharp but also provide a great way to relax. They are especially beneficial for those super cold and gray winter days.
Seniors may also want to consider taking up a form of exercise to stay active. All of our communities are equipped with a wellness room that residents can use. Also, our communities offer a variety of fitness classes tailored specifically to seniors, providing a great way to engage socially while also offering an excellent opportunity to work out. Another great way to stay active indoors is by doing at-home workouts.
For starters, a common exercise that is great for seniors is seated marching. All you need for this exercise is a sturdy chair. Sit in the chair and march your legs in place as if you are walking while seated. You can continue to march in place for a few minutes or break it into shorter sets. This exercise helps improve leg strength and cardiovascular fitness.
Another excellent chair exercise is chair squats. Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet placed flat on the floor. Stand up and then sit back down slowly, keeping your movements slow and controlled. This movement can help strengthen your legs and improve balance.
Stay Connected and Engaged:
The colder days may lead us indoors, but that doesn't mean we should isolate ourselves. During this season, it is important for seniors to stay connected with family and engage socially, whether through activities or groups.
Our activity programs across our communities offer a wide range of activities, outings, learning opportunities, and more. Some of the most popular activities include baking, crafting, and lunch outings, providing residents the opportunity to try new hobbies, connect with neighbors, and explore the local community. All of our communities also offer various clubs, ranging from board game clubs to garden clubs to book clubs. Staying engaged socially and being around others can work wonders for seniors, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness, increasing a sense of belonging and purpose, forming meaningful relationships, and even boosting the immune system in some cases.
On days when you may want to take some time to yourself and relax at home, making a quick phone call or video call to loved ones is a great way to stay connected virtually rather than in person. Many smartphones or tablets these days have the capability to video call, providing a great option for those whose loved ones may be far away.
Another way to stay connected with friends and family online is through social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer an excellent way for seniors to connect with family, friends, and long-lost acquaintances. By joining online communities or groups centered around their hobbies, interests, or even their generation, seniors can engage in conversations, share experiences, and build new friendships. It's an opportunity to stay updated, reminisce, and feel a sense of belonging. Each of our communities has a Facebook page that keeps followers up to date with recent activities, outings, blogs, family events, and more.
Seniors can truly make the most of the winter months by listening to their bodies, embracing preventive measures, staying active mentally and physically, and nurturing social connections. Winter is not just a season to endure but an opportunity to thrive, finding warmth in the company of loved ones, the joy of engaging in activities, and the resilience of a healthy body and mind. As the air turns crisp, let this guide be a companion on your winter journey, reminding you that with the right mindset and proactive measures, every season can be a season of wellness and joy.