Winter Senior HealthBetween slippery conditions, cold temperatures and the flu, winter can be a tough time for seniors. These five tips will help seniors stay healthy this winter.

  1. Get a flu shot. The immune system weakens as we age, so it's very important for seniors, as well as their family members and caregivers, to get vaccinated against the flu. A recent study show that "herd vaccination" actually helps lower the rate of flu infection among seniors.
  2. Keep sure footing. Icy, snowy sidewalks practically guarantee a slip and fall accident, which are especially dangerous for seniors. Injuries from slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of death for men and women over the age of 65. Quality shoes with good traction and tread will help seniors stay surefooted. And if your senior uses a walking aid, consider upgrading to a quad cane and using ice grip attachments for added stability on slick surfaces.
  3. Keep warm. Many people experience a slowing of the metabolism with age, so seniors are more susceptible to cold temperatures. Seniors can experience hypothermia, even if the room temperature is over 70 degrees. Dressing in layers, keeping extra blankets around, and staying active around the house will help seniors regulate their body temperatures. Remember that some seniors on a fixed income will lower the thermostat to control heating costs, so make sure your loved one's home is warm.
  4. Battle seasonal depression. The Winter Blues, also called seasonal affective disorder, affects people of all ages, but is especially tough on seniors. Check in with your seniors often, in person or over the phone, to help diminish the feelings of isolation and loneliness they can experience in the winter. And plan regular family gatherings to enjoy a meal, play games and spend time together.
  5. Drive safely. If your senior is still driving, make sure to have his or her car serviced before winter weather strikes. In the Cleveland, Ohio region, winter tires offer additional traction and control in slick winter driving conditions. Even if your loved one can still navigate the roads safely under normal conditions, it may be safer to drive him or her when the winter weather strikes.