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Baby, It's Cold Outside

By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 2)

For many loved ones, travel is hard during the cold winter months. A caregiver can be an advocate by eliminating any unnecessary travel, shopping for their loved one and encouraging family members and friends to visit at the loved oneís home. Take advantage of the nicer, sunny days and donít push medical appointments that can be put off if the cold is too extreme or snow too deep. Another option for medical appointments is for a caregiver to look into a visiting physician service if travel is too difficult.

A big safety issue in wintertime is falls. A caregiver can help prevent this common injury-causing scenario by keeping sidewalks and door entryways clear. Think of things that might cause a loved one to go outside?  The mail?  Pets?  Appointments?  A caregiver can be available or have someone nearby to assist with these daily tasks while the weather is less-than-desirable.

Donít worry, be happy

Cabin fever isnít just for newlyweds taking refuge in a north woods cabin. Many seniors struggle immensely with this season of isolation and Vitamin D deprivation.
Remind a loved one to drink plenty of water, eat well and exercise indoors as much as possible. Many senior-friendly exercise videos are available.

Encourage socialization by inviting friends and family who are able to travel for a visit. "Brain" games such as word and number puzzles and simply reading the daily paper help a loved one maintain a sense of connection during the long winter months.

Keeping warm isn't the only thing on a caregiver's to-do list during the cold season. Ensuring a loved one is safe and content are also important and will make for a faster, happier winter for all.


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