TIP 1: Dress warmly
If you are venturing outside for appointments, a walk or a spot of gardening, you should layer up your clothes to stay warm. Two to three layers of clothing is more effective than one heavy layer. Consider investing in quality thermals. Every wardrobe should have a hat or beanie, gloves, scarf, socks, coat or jacket.
Remember: Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops to a dangerously low level. Elderly adults have an increased risk of hypothermia occurring due to physiological changes that occur with ageing.
TIP 2: Be aware of changes to outdoor surfaces
Many outdoor surfaces can become slippery during the winter months. This can be due to less daylight hours and the sun sitting lower in the sky so it doesn’t reach many shaded areas. Moss tends to develop on the ground in these areas and wet surfaces are slower to dry.
Be on the lookout for regularly wet, slippery areas like stairs and pathways. Wear appropriate footwear with non-skid soles. Check that the rubber base on canes and walkering frames are in optimal condition and replace the rubber if worn.
TIP 3: Heat the home safely
During the winter months we all tend to heat our home environments. Be aware that heaters and fireplaces can leak dangerous levels of carbon monoxide if not properly ventilated. This gas can’t be seen or smelt. Keep an eye out for the following warning signs that could signal excessive amounts of carbon monoxide in your home:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision
In the event you notice any of these symptoms in your Elder, seek fresh air and medical care immediately.
Preventative measures are:
- Keep a couple of windows partially open for airflow both in and out;
- Check that your smoke detectors are active and not out-of-date;
- Keep heaters with open elements or flames, a safe distance from furniture, curtains, bedding and anything that may catch fire.
TIP 4: Make meal time joyful and healthy
Our Caregivers know from extensive experience in caring, particularly for Elders living with dementia that the simple act of eating a meal is often diminished or lost.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) reports that progressive malnutrition and weight loss are commonly observed in dementia sufferers.* As part of a comprehensive study into dementia, research covered ways to improve the delivery of nutrition for people with dementia. They found that enthusiasm and active involvement of Carers and Caregivers during the mealtime process was crucial. Maggie Beer, one of our long standing foodie-darlings says, “it is my hope that every meal can give comfort and pleasure, always something to look forward to”.
We know with winter comes the temptation to eat high carbohydrate, starchy and sugary foods that require minimum effort to prepare. Daughterly Care’s Joyful Living Approach™ and heeding the advice of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and food experts like Maggie Beer, Carers can make meal time and meal preparation a joyful experience.
“It makes absolute sense that the way food is prepared and brought to the table should be taken into consideration as a natural part of any meal. It is… equal to the food itself and there’s no reason for anyone to miss out on this aspect of pleasure when it comes to sharing the table, especially for those in the later stages of life”, Ms Beer says**.
Why not spice up your meal preparation experience with your Elder by turning on your favourite music, fire up the stove or oven and create a hearty winter soup or casserole.
Winter vegetables you can include in slow cooked winter meals are: