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Help Your Senior Prepare For Winter

Winter is approaching and as the temperature drops, it’s important for older adults to prepare for the potential risks that cold weather can bring.

For the thousands of seniors living in the Northwest, winter may pose a number of risks. Reports have shown much higher incidences of injury and illness due to icy sidewalks, cold and dry air, flu viruses and in many cases, hypothermia.

According to the Healthy Aging Partnership, a coalition of more than 40 Puget Sound not-for-profit and public organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of older adults, older adults should keep these tips in mind to help ensure safety and optimum health this winter.

  • Older adults are more susceptible to hypothermia, which occurs when too much heat escapes from the body. It is important to dress warmly and keep dry, but equally important to remember good nutrition. Food provides the fuel we need to keep warm. Hot food and warm drinks are best to warm the body.
  • When going outdoors, remember to dress warmly. Wear layered, loose-fitting clothing and mittens. When possible, wear a hat to protect against heat loss since close to half of all body heat is lost through the head.
  • You can prevent many winter hazards simply by planning ahead. Before winter arrives, check all the windows and doors in your home for cracked or worn sealants. A new application of caulking may be needed; in a pinch, staple a sheet of plastic tarp over really old windows.
  • Talk to your electric or gas companies to see if you can be put on a level billing system that averages your energy payments equally over 12 months. This doesn’t save money, but it does help to budget during the heating season and prevent your heat from being shut off.
  • To avoid slips and falls, wear non-skid boots or other shoes with plenty of traction.
  • Cold weather can put extra strain on the heart. When doing winter chores such as shoveling snow, do some warm-up exercises first and take many breaks.
  • To conserve energy, heat only those rooms that you use. Close off the attic, garage, basement, spare bedrooms or storage areas. But don’t overdo your money-saving efforts: keep your thermostat set to at least 65 degrees to prevent hypothermia.
  • Shift energy use from peak to off-peak times. For example, do small things like running your dishwasher after 9 p.m.
  • When using a portable heater, plug the heater directly into an outlet, not to an extension cord. Make sure the outlet and wiring are in good condition. Keep the area around the heater clear of furniture, newspaper or other flammable materials and take special care to avoid tripping over cords.

Article from www.4elders.org

Why Breakfast is Important – Rise And Dine!

The Importance of Breakfast for Seniors

I am sure everyone has heard the phrase: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well its true! Skipping breakfast is never a good idea, no matter your age. However, senior adults have a greater risk for health issues such as fatigue, malnutrition, and damaged metabolism. A hearty breakfast can help seniors balance their metabolism and gain energy for adults to function throughout the day. Here are some options for a healthy breakfast and helpful tips.

Healthy Breakfast Meals

  • Eggs have many health benefits. They are rich in high-quality protein as well as B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D and minerals. There are several easy ways you can cook eggs scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, and baked eggs.
  • Greek Yogurt is a quick, easy and satisfying breakfast. Greek yogurt is full of protein it can also help you feel full and prevents an energy crash. To make your Greek yogurt burst with flavor you can make Greek yogurt parfaits by adding your choice of nuts, granola, and fresh fruits.
  • Seniors who have difficulty chewing can benefit from using their blender to make easy and delicious smoothies. Breakfast smoothies are great for seniors who aren’t hungry first thing in the morning. Smoothies are made with vegetable’s, fresh fruits, yogurt or milk, and any other add-ins such as protein powder.
  • Make sure you are adding a rainbow of colors in your breakfast plate. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be added with oatmeal or cereal, and pair with eggs or toast.
  • Breakfast cereal has been everyone’s morning meal for decades. Many cereals contain a multitude of vitamins, whole grains and minerals. Cereal has always been the fastest, easiest breakfast meal. However, it is important to be cautious and read the nutrition label. Look for cereals that have less than 5-10 grams of sugar per serving, as well as three or more grams in fiber.

Helpful Tips

  • Seniors who eat with a friend, family member, or Home Health Aide are more likely to eat the meal they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • If your loved one needs assistance with daily activities such as nutritious meal preparation, feel free to contact us by phone or email
  • Seniors require less calorie intake than younger individuals
  • Seniors are likely to eat meals if they are served in small portions

Making sure that our seniors have a healthy breakfast everyday can improve their lifespan and tremendously decrease their health conditions. By preparing quick and easy breakfast meals, seniors will enjoy knowing they will have energy throughout the day to take part in their favorite daily activities.