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5 Winter Wellness Tips for Massachusetts Seniors

Massachusetts winters can be brutal – even without strange weather events like polar vortexes to add degrees of complexity. According to Boston.com, the majority of winter forecasts are predicting a cold and snowy winter in the eastern sections of the country.

The same weather conditions that make life bothersome for the rest of the population can prove dangerous, and even lethal for seniors. If you are a senior living alone or providing care for a senior, it’s important to consider these five tips for remaining well all winter long.

1) Be Prepared for Winter Emergencies

Winter emergencies happen – even in areas where they are uncommon, they remain possible.

  • Keep battery-powered radios and flashlights on hand for information during emergencies, as well as extra batteries.

  • Keep a seven day supply of food, water, medication and pet foods.

  • Have an emergency plan with your caregiver and consider backup power sources for medical equipment or medication storage if needed.

  • Don’t forget heat inside your home. If your heat goes out with the power, make alternate plans to stay with a relative or neighbor who has adequate heat whenever storms are expected.

2) Avoid Slips and Falls

Stay ahead of the storm when it comes to salting sidewalks and walkways so that ice doesn’t form – along with slipping hazards for yourself and your guests.

3) Dress for the Weather

Even if you only plan to be outdoors for a short while it is best to dress warmly and in layers when the weather is cold. You should also wear shoes with sturdy soles and proper treads to avoid slipping.

4) Safeguard Your Health

It is much easier to maintain good health, as a senior, than it is to get back to good health. Give your body every opportunity to stay ahead of illness this winter. These are all great plans to keep you safe all winter long.

  • Get a flu shot. Also, get a pneumonia shot if advised by your physician.

  • Wash your hands frequently.

  • Hydrate (drink plenty of water).

  • Protect your skin. This means you need to use plenty of lotion to counteract the dryness of winter weather as well as lip treatment and sunscreen. It may be winter out there, but the sun can still do a lot of damage on a cold winter’s day.

  • Eat a healthy diet.

  • Get plenty of sleep.

  • Exercise. You may not be able to take daily walks around the block in a Massachusetts winter, but there are many health clubs that offer senior programs, malls that have “mall walking,” and community centers that offer low-cost Tai Chi and other types of classes that are gentle for seniors.

5) Consider Hiring a Service for the Heavy Lifting

While funds may be tight, the price of shoveling snow as a senior could very well be your life. Heart attacks are common occurrences when the snow totals climb. Hire someone else, or look for volunteers (family, community, local synagogues or churches, etc.) to shovel snow for you.

Winter wellness is serious business. Staying warm and healthy throughout the winter should be a priority for Massachusetts seniors. These tips are a great place for seniors to begin their winter wellness efforts.

Do you have any winter wellness tips for Massachusetts’s seniors? Please share in the below comments section!

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