Help the Elderly Feel Comfortable in the Cooler Months

This post is by Jocelyn.

With the arrival of Fall, most of us are excited about finally enjoying cooler evenings, spending a Sunday afternoon curled up with a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese in hand, and the long-awaited return of Fall football.

But, for the elderly, Fall isn’t always all warm and fuzzy. In fact, it can often trigger SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and make their lives more difficult all around—even more dangerous. As the weather cools, getting around becomes more difficult and keeping warm and comfortable can become an overwhelming challenge.

Elderly wellbeing

Image copyright jon11 - Fotolia.com

If you have any elderly loved ones in your life, here are some simple ways to ease the transition, keep their spirits high, and keep them comfortable and safe all season long.

Plan extra activities

One of the primary reasons that the elderly tend to become sad or feel blue around this time is because they can feel more trapped and miss the activities that were so readily available in summer.

You can easily combat this by maintaining constant visits and by planning extra activities with them. Look for indoor options that you can get your loved ones involved in, like indoor walking in the mall with friends, extra game nights, movie dates, pet visits, or even just extra deliveries of their favorite books and movies for those long fall and winter afternoons.

Plan and schedule for winter help

Don’t wait to make plans for who will help your elderly loved ones take care of winter chores. This can make them nervous and worried. Whether it will be yourself or someone you’re hiring, schedule now for basic things like sidewalk shoveling and porch de-icing, and maybe even grocery delivery.

It’s also a good idea to contact a back-up person for help in case your primary help is ever unable to come for any reason.

Organize a heating plan

The elderly can often become very uncomfortable during the fall and winter months because they find it so difficult to maintain their body temperature. And, even worse, according to the American Red Cross, elderly people are at a higher risk for cold injuries and thousands die unnecessarily every year because their homes are too cold.

Plan in advance to ensure that your loved ones can avoid getting cold. A central heating system set to room temperature most likely will not be enough. Rather than increasing the whole central system by the degrees necessary to keep them feeling warm, consider portable heating options. This will allow them to regulate the temperature of just one room much more easily. They can change the entire room temperature rapidly and increase the temperature greatly without having to do so in the entire house.

This not only saves time waiting for that temperature to be met, it also saves tremendous cost. Sitting right next to a heat source is also often more comforting and soothing for older people. An small electric fireplace in a bedroom can be just what they need for heat and comfort.

Stay in constant communication

Don’t let a day go by that you aren’t in contact with your elderly loved ones. You’ll be able to notice instantly if they’re feeling blue or uncomfortable, or just don’t seem like themselves. And, even if they’re feeling and doing great (which we hope for every day!), you’ll still get a conversation that you wouldn’t have had otherwise and every conversation is precious. You’ll feel good, they’ll feel good, and you’ll get to share a little more love every day!

What do you do to make sure the elderly people in your life stay warm and well over the cooler months? Share your tips and experiences with us.

Freelancer Jocelyn is dedicated to helping families live healthier, happier lives. At the moment you’ll find her writing alongside Air & Water, a company that loves to help families find the best heater for the elderly in their lives.

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Comments

  1. Hi Jocelyn,
    Yes the winter months can be brutal and it is important to consider and help the elderly. Thanks for shining some light on this important topic.

  2. Gotta make sure to spend plenty of time with the grandparents because who knows how long you’ll be with them. Winter is the perfect time for more frequent visits, and I LOVE tomato soup and grilled cheese! 😉

  3. reminds me… to call home more often!
    thanks
    noch

  4. Maybe I should grab a little spaceheater for the grandfolks as a “drop-by-for-dinner-look-what-i-brought” sort of gift.

    • Nice idea Rob 🙂 One thing I know is an issue for many (old and young!) is electricity costs, so if I try this, I think I’ll aim for something that’s as energy-efficient as possible.

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