Winter Poses Risks to Senior Health


Winter Poses Risks to Senior Health

Winter presents a number of senior health challenges. Though some are well known, others may be less apparent. Falls and hypothermia are common, but there are certain conditions senior care providers should be on the lookout for.

With the cold temperatures and fewer hours of daylight, the winter months tend to foster feelings of depression, and this is true for older adults as well. Caregivers may notice seniors exhibiting a loss of energy, a lethargic feeling or a desire to eat more. There are a variety of treatments, ranging from medication to a so-called “light box,” but one of the most effective is for seniors to get natural daylight, weather permitting.

In a similar vein, the lack of daylight could lead to vitamin D deficiency. Not getting enough vitamin D is problematic to people of all ages, but it may be especially harmful to seniors who need the nutrient to maintain bone health.

Getting plenty of vitamin D can be tricky when there’s not much natural sunlight. Some experts recommend using nutritional supplements, but there are plenty of other food-based sources of vitamin D, including milk, yogurt and certain fortified juices.

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