Adults over the age of 65 are at a higher risk for many health problems. Statistics show that people in this age group have a higher chance of developing a chronic disease, suffering from depression, and being hospitalized due to health-related issues such as varicose veins compared to younger adults.
Fall is here, and while you are probably excited to see your favorite TV shows come back on the air or spend more time outside during the nice days, there are also things that you should be doing so that fall does not have adverse effects on your health. With this in mind, here are some fall health tips for seniors that will ensure that you remain safe throughout the season.
Wear Proper Clothing
While many people know that it is important to wear proper clothing when going outside in cold weather, they often do not realize how freezing it can get once you are out of direct sunlight. This means that light layers are key fall health tips for seniors because they keep heat from escaping and retain heat generated by your body. Make sure that you choose a hat and scarf, too, especially if you have a history of getting nose bleeds or headaches when exposed to the cold for an extended period of time.
It is not just about what you wear outside either; proper clothing applies indoors during fall as well. If your home is old, it might be tough to retain heat in the colder months, so make sure that all seniors are dressed more warmly than usual until the home’s heating system kicks into effect. In terms of sleeping attire, seniors should layer on some pajamas before heading to bed because you will more than likely get chilly overnight even if you keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature while awake.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important fall health tips for seniors. Even if you do not feel thirsty, your body tells you that it needs fluids to stay healthy and strong. Drink water, juice, or even soup throughout the day to ensure that you remain well hydrated. Try placing a few drops of flavoring in your water to make it taste better so you can drink more.
Obtain Adequate Sleep
Getting enough sleep each night is one of the best fall health tips for seniors. While this sounds easy at first glance, many people struggle with falling asleep as they get older because their bodies’ internal clocks start working against them. Cortisol levels are lower at night, resulting in a more difficult time falling asleep, while growth hormones are higher when you are younger and result in easier nights of sleep. In addition to establishing a bedtime routine that includes relaxing activities such as reading or listening to music, make sure that your bedroom is dark and quiet; light and noise pollution keep people awake.
The change in seasons causes the sun to set earlier and rise later, which means less daylight is available for seniors. For some people, this can lead to a change in their circadian rhythm and affect their sleeping schedule. It is essential to prepare for bed at an appropriate time every night, no matter what the season is, but it becomes even more critical during fall because of all of the extra tasks that come along with it (such as raking leaves). With early preparation, you can easily get enough sleep each day.
Observe a Proper Diet
Some fall health tips for seniors do not get talked about much: one of them is the importance of observing good nutrition during this time of year. Many foods become less expensive and abundant during autumn because certain crops or plants come into season (such as apples), so it is important to take advantage of these deals rather than eating only what costs more money or is readily available all year round. Some ‘health foods’ are typically considered treats during other times of the year that can be eaten in moderation as a good source of nutrients and fiber: pumpkin is one such example. You can also get ready with a melon peeler as you might get a lot of melons during this season.
Reduce Risks of Falling
Another factor on the list of important fall health tips for seniors is to keep an eye out for things that could increase their risk of falling over, which can lead to a trip to urgent care center if you’re not careful! For example, rugs and carpets may become more slippery when wet, so place wet floor signs near any areas where water has been spilled or where there is a high chance it could drip onto the ground (such as by a sink or shower). If you take medication that makes you dizzy or drowsy, only go outside if someone else is around who will be able to watch you walk up and down stairs or watch for cars before crossing roads.
Poor vision can lead to falls, especially for seniors who are 65 and older. Symptoms of poor eyesight include blurry vision or seeing double. Fall-related injuries caused by poor eyesight make up a significant number of all fall accidents reported each year. To prevent these types of accidents, make sure the senior in your life has access to eyeglasses if they need them; check their doctor’s appointments to see if they need an updated prescription, and examine their surroundings at home for potential hazards.
Visit Your Doctor
Also, make an annual doctor’s appointment to be evaluated for osteoporosis, which is a condition that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break easily. By getting screened annually for osteoporosis, seniors can prevent future fractures by taking medication or making lifestyle changes. Weak bones or muscles can cause problems, especially when trying to prevent falls.
Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones while aging. Most adults over 65 can reduce their risk of developing this condition by getting enough calcium and Vitamin D in their diet, exercising regularly, and getting proper medical care from their primary care physician. Regular testing can also determine if your senior loved one has any current bone-related health conditions that put them at a higher fall risk.
Hip fractures are among the most common and serious injuries older adults can suffer from. Falls are one of the main causes of broken hips in seniors. Take extra care to make sure your loved ones lift heavy objects properly and always use their handrails when walking up or down the stairs and in slippery or wet surfaces.
Depression is often linked with an increased likelihood that a senior will suffer from physical pain or an illness, leading to a higher number of falls. If your loved one has been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, talk with their doctor about treatment choices and the link between their mental health and changes in their physical health.
Many seniors take medication daily for various conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol levels, or arthritis, which can cause dizziness or drowsiness when combined with seasonal weather conditions. Be aware that some of the most common medications, such as diuretics or antihistamines, can cause drowsiness and dizziness, so be sure to tell your older loved one about potential side effects before they begin taking new medication.
Schedule Your Flu Shot
Vaccinations are important fall health tips for seniors. The flu shot is a vaccine that can prevent people from catching the influenza virus. The flu virus can cause high fever, dry coughs, and headaches, making it feel like you have the ‘stomach flu.’ No matter your age or current health status, getting an annual flu shot is crucial in preventing the spread of this contagious disease.
It is vital for seniors to schedule flu shots as soon as possible with a CNA at a doctor’s office. Flu season typically starts in the fall and ends sometime around February or March. Hence, it is important to be vaccinated at this time of year to avoid having your immune system compromised when you most need it. Even if they are not particularly worried about getting the flu, it cannot hurt to get a yearly vaccination because it helps protect against pneumonia and less common and dangerous viruses such as herpes zoster (shingles) and Japanese encephalitis.
Most seniors are at an elevated risk of catching the flu, but getting vaccinated every year can lower that chance significantly. The flu is no joke; it often leads to more severe complications like pneumonia or dehydration, which may be difficult for older adults to recover from on their own. It is best to get this vaccine sooner rather than later to prevent any problems before they start.
One of the best fall health tips for seniors to keep themselves healthy during the autumn months is staying active and exercising regularly. Being fit makes it much easier to avoid mobility scooters and deal with all of the fall-related tasks that come along with the season, such as raking leaves, going on a hayride, and carving pumpkins. After all, there is nothing wrong with having fun while staying healthy!
Mowing your lawn is a great way to remain active as you get rid of excess grass clippings before they have a chance to accumulate around your home. Seniors need to be extra cautious when doing so, especially during fall until winter hits. Everyone knows that lawnmowers can cause severe injuries if you are not paying close enough attention while using them. Still, some people do not realize that it becomes even more dangerous to use mowers in cold weather because of the gasoline fumes emitted during operations.
Another way of observing fall health tips for seniors is by going apple picking. Not only will visiting an apple orchard make you happy when fall rolls around, but it can also be an excellent way for seniors to get some exercise! Apple picking requires a lot of walking and bending over to pick up apples that fall off trees, both of which are healthy activities for older adults. Staying active during the autumn months is especially important because most people don’t exercise once winter hits.
Open Up Your Home and Keep Warm
This time of the year is such a joy for so many people. The fall colors appear on the trees, and the weather becomes more bearable with each passing day. However, this season also brings some health concerns that can be especially difficult for seniors to deal with.
One of the biggest problems seniors face during the autumn months is their homes, which may not be well equipped to handle cold temperatures very well. Colder air means that heaters need to be turned on to stay comfortable and warm throughout the day and night. Unfortunately, turning on these appliances may lead to an increased risk of fire (especially if they are not vented correctly), radiation exposure, and dry skin.
Check your smoke alarm batteries to reduce the risk of fires by detecting smoke in the fire scenario when using the appliances. Smoke alarms save lives by alerting homeowners whenever something is wrong in relation to breaking out of fires, but they cannot do anything if their batteries are dead. This is especially true now that colder weather has arrived, and you will not be able to hear the warning chirps that they produce if it is too noisy outside. It is best to check your batteries every time you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time, but installing fresh ones in October is even better.
The best thing that you can do to protect yourself against these potential hazards is to open up your home as much as possible every day to get fresh air circulating throughout it. Also, consider spending time in the sunroom decorated with contemporary art to enjoy the sunlight as much as you can. It is vital to observe the fall health tips for seniors during the autumn months for senior citizens to maintain their health and wellness.
While older adults have always been susceptible to different health concerns than their younger counterparts, it is important for all family members and caregivers to understand how these concerns can affect the seniors in their lives. This helps senior citizens lead healthier lives in the fall, winter, and beyond.