The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration… but it’s also cold and flu season. The combination of chilly weather, staying indoors, being in close proximity to sick individuals, and not getting regular sunshine and exercise can make maintaining senior health a challenge. Staying healthy over the holidays is the key to a happy, joyous season, so we’ve gathered our top sixteen senior health care tips for a safe, lively winter.
Keep reading to learn what you can do to maintain your senior health throughout cold and flu season.
1. Stay hydrated for senior health.
Dehydration is a significant enemy to senior health. It can cause fatigue, headaches, kidney stones, infections, dizziness, and other severe health issues. It can even land some people in the hospital.
Although many people only think of hydration during the hot summer, drinking water is equally important to stave off winter dryness and the holiday hustle-and-bustle. To avoid dehydration this season, drink at least eight glasses of water daily or the equivalent of your body weight in ounces of water. (For example, a 150-pound person would drink 150oz of water.) Consider buying a reusable water bottle to encourage you to sip water throughout the day.
2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule.
A consistent sleep routine is crucial for senior health. Studies show that low quantity and poor quality of sleep are directly correlated with mortality and chronic disease. And sleep is especially important for staying healthy over the holidays. Research has demonstrated that sleep helps boost your white blood cells, which help fight off viruses and bacteria in your body.
Getting a little extra sleep may help promote senior health in the short- and long-term. Try to stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time to support your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Focus on creating a quiet, dark, comfortable bedroom that will promote adequate, quality rest. If you feel you’re coming down with a cold, prioritize senior health care by sleeping and resting as much as possible.
3. Manage stress for senior health.
The holidays can be stressful for several reasons: travel, holiday shopping, traffic, weather, family gatherings, and emotional concerns. Unfortunately, stress is linked to colds, flus, gastrointestinal problems, depression, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, and even cancer.
That means staying healthy over the holidays starts by minimizing stress. Find stress relief techniques that work for you, like deep breathing, meditation, daily walks, or chair yoga. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, prioritize taking time to rest, recuperate, and focus on your senior health.
4. Get your flu shot.
Flu outbreaks are more common during winter, but an annual flu shot can help protect you. Flu vaccines work by increasing your natural resistance to the most common flu strains. You should renew your flu shot each year because every winter sees different virus strains that can impact senior health.
Chat with your physician to see if this year’s flu shot and other vaccinations are suitable for your senior health care plan.
5. Adhere to your regular medications.
One of the most critical aspects of senior health care during the holiday season is keeping up with your regular medications and supplements. Many seniors find this challenging during the winter because of pharmacy inaccessibility due to traffic, holidays, weather, and snowstorms. Plus, navigating crowded pharmacies increases your risk of falls and potential exposure to illness. However, stopping your regular medicines or missing a dose can have severe consequences, including unintended side effects or a worsening of preexisting conditions.
Always have your medication on hand thanks to GoGoGrandparent’s prescription delivery services. You simply call up GoGoGrandparent, and one of our friendly operators will help arrange a prescription pickup and drop-off right to your door. GoGo works with most pharmacies – both big brands and local pharmacies. That means you can always have your prescriptions on hand without the headache of trying to get to the pharmacy during the busy holiday season.
Learn more about GoGo’s prescription delivery here.
6. Winterize your home for senior health.
Winter brings other health risks like cold drafts and an increased risk of falls on icy pavement. Winterizing your property is crucial for senior health to ensure a safe, healthy season. Here are some tips for prepping your home for the season:
- Re-seal doors and windows to prevent drafts and maintain a comfortable temperature indoors.
- Check your heating systems. Regular maintenance of heating and furnaces will help avoid breakdowns during the cold season.
- Have your walkways and driveways cleared of snow and ice before walking on them.
- Ensure you have adequate lighting to prevent falls or slips, especially with winter’s shorter daylight hours.
Let GoGoGrandparent help make your home safe and comfortable for the winter. GoGoGrandparent’s home services connect you with professionals for the above home maintenance and more, including snow removal and home repairs. You can even find a dog walker to exercise your pup when it’s too cold outside. Learn more about GoGo’s home services here.
7. Eat fresh, seasonal produce for senior health.
Buy winter seasonal produce if possible. Fruits and veggies lose nutrients and flavor during transit and storage. Produce that’s in-season and local has less of a journey from harvest to your plate, meaning it’s fresher, tastier, and healthier. Add apples, pears, cranberries, and root vegetables into your winter meals for optimal senior health.
Staying healthy over the holidays starts with a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods. But it can be challenging to get to the grocery store during the holiday season. Grocery stores are packed with people, and navigating the parking lot and aisles can be a nightmare. That’s where GoGoGrandparent’s grocery delivery services come to the rescue. With GoGoGroceries, you can easily order fresh, healthy groceries right from the comfort of your own home.
If you’re not sure what foods to make this season, check out these five easy dinner ideas for senior health to get inspired.
8. Stay warm.
Your mother may have said it to you, and you may have even said it to your kids: “Put on a jacket, or you’ll catch a cold!” This old wives’ tale may have some truth to it. Cold temperatures make immune cells less effective, which makes us more susceptible to viruses. So, prioritize your senior health by staying warm. Dress in cozy layers, cuddle up with an extra blanket, and make sure your home is adequately heated.
9. Wash your hands.
Frequent handwashing can prevent the spread of germs and infections. Germs spread when you touch a person or surface and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. To help promote senior health and minimize the germs you’re exposed to, wash your hands after touching any public spaces, wash your hands before cooking or eating, carry hand sanitizer while out and about, and be mindful of how often you’re touching your face.
10. Practice social distancing for senior health care.
We can take a page out of the early days of the pandemic by social distancing when appropriate. You don’t have to stay six feet away from people at all times, but if you see someone coughing or sneezing, try to keep your distance. Germ particles spread through the air, especially respiratory and mucus particles from coughs and sneezes, so it’s best to stay as far away as possible. Sometimes, you may want to wear a mask in crowded stores or restaurants to maintain your senior health.
11. Stay physically active.
The cold weather brings the temptation to cuddle up on the couch and not move all day, but staying active is essential to promoting strength, mobility, and wellbeing. Research shows that physical activity increases immunity by helping to flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, thus reducing your chance of catching a cold, flu or illness.
You don’t need to hit the gym to stay active. You can engage in light exercises at home, like stretching, resistance band workouts, or walking in place. GoGoGrandparent offers free chair yoga, strength training, and functional fitness classes on Youtube, so you can have access to professional-led workout classes right from your living room. Check out these nine tips for staying active as you age.
12. Connecting with loved ones boosts senior health.
The holiday season can be lonely and isolating for many people. Minimize feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety by focusing on your social wellbeing as well as your senior health care stats. Studies show that social interaction is essential for senior health, fostering physical activity, emotional wellness, and even brain health.
Make an effort to connect with family and friends this holiday season – whether in person or by phone and video calls. Take up a new hobby, walk around the mall, or do activities that make you happy. Daily social interaction can have major positive influences on your senior health care plan.
GoGo Rides is a convenient way to get out of the house and engage in local goings-on. Whether visiting with friends or participating in local events, having reliable and safe transportation is a game-changer for staying socially active. Click here to learn more about how GoGoRides helps thousands of seniors get around every single day.
13. Avoid over-commitment.
While it’s important for senior health to get out and socialize, you also run the risk of committing to too many social events and obligations. Overcommitment can lead to stress and exhaustion, which can wear you down to the point of illness.
Prioritize your senior health and wellbeing by balancing your schedule and being choosy about the activities in which you participate. Set aside time to relax, recharge, and focus on staying healthy over the holidays. Drink some hot chocolate, cuddle up with a blanket or pet, and watch a holiday movie that makes you happy.
14. Be mindful of alcohol intake.
Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which can make you more susceptible to illness. Alcohol also impairs walking and balance functions, and it may interact negatively with certain prescriptions. Prioritize your senior health by considering non-alcoholic alternatives, like these 22 non-alcoholic holiday drinks by Country Living.
15. Rest after social events or travel.
You might be traveling – long or short distances – to visit with friends and family this season. Travel can be exhausting, and it can put you at exposure risk to a lot of germs and illnesses. That’s why it’s critical to take extra good care of your senior health when traveling. This means resting between events, taking naps, eating well, and carving out time for relaxation. Block out downtime in your calendar to recuperate and help avoid overexerting yourself.
Consider adjusting your schedule if need be. Your energy levels may be different than what they used to be, and it’s important to tweak your calendar to accommodate your body’s needs. This may mean leaving events early, taking breaks throughout the day, or saying “no” to events that will be too stressful. Remember that it’s okay to prioritize your senior health and make decisions that encourage staying healthy over the holidays.
16. Visit the doctor if you’re not feeling well.
If you feel you’re coming down with a sickness or you have worsening symptoms of an existing condition, visit your primary care physician. They’ll evaluate you to ensure your condition doesn’t develop or worsen, and they can prescribe medications or remedies to help you heal faster.
Moreover, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or lonely during the holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out to support groups, counselors, or helplines to share your feelings and seek guidance. Mental and physical senior health are critical to staying healthy over the holidays and into the new year.
Don’t forget: you can catch a ride with GoGoRides to get to the doctor safely, quickly, and headache-free this winter season.
Senior health: staying healthy over the holidays
Senior health care is of the utmost importance during the holiday season. Make decisions that focus on staying healthy over the holidays so you can enjoy the season without dealing with colds, flus, or infections. With proper support, planning, and prioritization of your senior health care needs, you can have a healthy, festive, and fulfilling season.
GoGoGrandparent is a fantastic resource for those looking to maintain their senior health this season. From prescription delivery and grocery services to transportation and home maintenance, GoGoGrandparent is there to make the holiday season enjoyable and stress-free. Register for GoGoGrandparent now to get started.