Supporting Your Older Relatives During The Winter

November 23, 2020

Winter can be hard for everyone, when it is cold and dark, and you can start to feel the winter blues. This year, a lot of people might find it even more difficult, especially if they can’t see their family during the holidays. It is a time to look out for your friends, family, and neighbors, and the older people you know, in particular. Isolation and loneliness can be a big problem for seniors, especially when they might find it difficult to get around on their own. When it starts to get older, there are ways you can support them, providing them with company and assistance throughout the darker months.

Here is how you could be helping your older relatives, friends, and neighbors during the winter:

Help With Staying In Touch

Loneliness can be a problem for anyone but particularly affects older people. This year, many have been feeling even more lonely, cut off from friends and family, and unable to see them as much as they might like. Long winter nights can feel lonely too, but you can help people out by making it easier for them to stay in touch with those they love. Many older people are plenty tech-savvy nowadays, but it is always a good idea to offer help. It is not always easy to keep up with new tools and technology, so you can provide assistance with things like setting up WhatsApp or how to use Zoom.

Visiting Safely

Visiting friends and relatives has been somewhat curbed this year. However, it is still possible to conduct visits to others safely in some areas, and it can be necessary for people who need extra help or care. Whether you’re visiting someone at home, in a nursing home, or elsewhere, you need to make sure you’re being safe. This could include making sure you maintain hygiene by washing your hands regularly. Doing this, along with keeping your distance and covering your face, can help to prevent not just COVID-19 but also other illnesses, such as the flu or even common colds.

Ensure Appropriate Care

Seniors often need some extra care as they get older. Your parents or grandparents might benefit from assistance at home or from living in an appropriate environment where they get the care that they need. You can help over the winter by ensuring your older relatives are getting the care that they need. This can include checking up on the quality of the care they are receiving. If you need help, leading nursing home abuse attorneys can support you if you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated. Abuse and neglect are issues in care environments that can sometimes arise. It is important to know how to spot the signs and how to respond.

Assist With Groceries And Other Errands

Getting out and about can be difficult at the best of times for some seniors. When it is cold and potentially wet, snowy, or icy, this becomes even more difficult. You can help by assisting with groceries or running other errands, whether to go with them to do these errands or just do it for them. It can be very helpful to pitch in with everyday tasks that become more difficult when it is colder and darker.

Encourage Good Health And Healthcare

Staying healthy is even more important in winter than at other times of the year, especially this year when COVID-19 is an additional threat. Encouraging your older relatives to care for their health and to get healthcare when they need it can help them to look after themselves. You can make sure they get their flu vaccination for the season and that they are taking precautions to avoid coronavirus. Although COVID-19 has become a major health concern this year, it’s also important not to forget about other health issues. Regular checkups and addressing any concerns are still essential.

Help With The Cold

When it is colder, it can lead to a range of problems. One of the best things that you can do is make sure that your older relatives are warm enough at home. While many people do not like to discuss money, it is worth asking if they can manage their heating and lighting bills. They are usually higher during the winter and, with people staying at home more, could be even more costly this year compared to previous years.

We should all be there for each other during the cold, dark winter nights. If you want to help your senior relatives, check up on them regularly to ask what they need.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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