It’s that time of year again, the leaves are changing, and the temperature is dropping. It’s time to start planning for the season to stay healthy and happy. There are several things seniors and their loved ones can do to prepare for the seasonal shift and enjoy it at the same time! Here are five tips to make the most out of your fall!
1 – Make your cold-weather clothing more accessible. Spend some time this weekend helping the senior in your life go through their closet or dresser to move cold weather items within reach. Consider grouping clothing together so seniors can easily add and remove layers as the temperature calls for it. Keep jackets, gloves, hats, scarves, and cold weather boots near the door so seniors can easily get dressed before leaving the house.
2 – Take advantage of the fall harvest! Fall is the perfect season to add additional, nutrient-dense vegetables to your diet. Hearty vegetables like kale, turnips, and squash are available, and usually on sale, at your local market. Consider pairing these with a pre-made, low sodium chicken stock, some white beans, and meat from rotisserie chicken for a quick and healthy soup or stew! Make new memories and learn old recipes while making large-batch freezer meals with the senior in your life. They’ll have easy-to-heat dinners for cold days and you might learn some new kitchen tricks!
3 – Look out for slippery surfaces. As leaves change and fall, they can gather in small piles on driveways, walkways, porches, or front lawns and as they get wet from frost or weather, they become quite slippery. Help your loved one keep a clear pathway in and out of the house to prevent dangerous falls. This goes for winter, too! If you live in an area where it snows or freezes over, keep salt melt near your front and back doors and create a snow removal plan so everyday tasks like checking the mail or taking a pet out are safe!
4 – Check your fireplace, heaters, and propane tanks. As the weather cools, we become more reliant on our heat sources to stay warm, but like any major appliances, they need to be checked regularly for safety. If you haven’t had your vents or heaters checked, call a local HVAC professional for an inspection. If you use a fireplace, contact a local chimney expert to inspect your chimney and fireplace to ensure it’s free of debris, can clear smoke effectively, and is safe to use. If you use gas and have an above or underground propane tank, keep an eye on the levels and schedule a fill up before cold weather hits. Avoid fire risk, heat loss, or gas leaks by working with local heat professionals this fall.
5 – Find a way to stay active. As the temperature drops, it becomes difficult for many people, especially seniors, to stay active. Consider joining your local YMCA or gym to take low-impact, senior-friendly fitness courses or look for a local walking group that meets to walk indoors at places like malls or schools. If you intend to get your exercise outside, be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and don’t overexert yourself. If you build up a sweat, get indoors before a chill sets in to avoid getting a cold!
While many of us may consider these tips common sense, it can be difficult for seniors or those with low mobility to prepare effectively for fall. In-home care providers offer a number of services to help those who need it with tasks like these every day. From meal planning to pill sorting to daily exercise, in-home care professionals can offer a helping hand to help seniors stay in control, in their own home. If you or a loved one need extra help this season, consider reaching out to AmeriCare to meet one of our many experienced, kind, and caring professionals who can help you prepare for and enjoy fall!