Successful Aging Begins with a Plan
The 2021 holidays may have been extra special for most of us. Families were able to gather and give thanks. We gathered to exchange gifts with loved ones and close friends. Best of all, we’ve celebrated our ability to reconnect with those who matter most to us. Now that the hoopla and excitement is past, it’s time to turn our attention to making 2022 the best it can be. And that means we need a plan.
Winter Brings Challenges
January can be a challenge for seniors. Did you know older adults are more likely to fall during the winter than any other season? A simple slip on the ice when you’re 20 is usually easy to recover from. But when you’re 75, it’s an entirely different matter. Seniors are at greater risk for breaking a bone, suffering back or neck injuries or even a brain injury when they experience a fall during the winter.
Staying indoors is no guarantee against a fall either. Roughly 1 in 4 seniors fall each year, and 3 million seniors end up in an emergency department as a result of a fall. You may have been warned about throw rugs and slippery surfaces in your home. But did you know most falls take place on flat ground? Or that most men fall outdoors, and most women fall indoors? Given these facts, seniors who choose to age in place should have a plan in place to address the outcome of a bad fall. Who will be there to help you? What changes might have to be made in your home if you break a leg or your hip? How would you make dinner with a broken arm or wrist?
68 Degrees and Above
Seniors might not realize it, but hypothermia can be a very real risk inside their home during the winter months. For older adults, getting too cold, a body temperature of 95℉ or lower, can lead to a heart attack, kidney problems or liver damage. Whether you’re outdoors too long without all the proper winter gear, or if you’ve turned down your thermostat too low, you can get hypothermia because you lose body heat faster now than when you were young.
When hypothermia sets in, you may begin shivering, speaking very slowly, have shallow breathing or become drowsy. In the winter, when everyone feels as if they’re moving a little more slowly, you might not notice the early signs of hypothermia. Who will be there to check on you? Who will advocate for you as you recover?
Seasonal Menu Inspiration
The post-holiday season is famous for sparking the urge to diet in most of us. According to YouGovAmerica.com, an international research group, 57% of Baby Boomers who make a New Year’s resolution intend to lose weight. The yummy goodness of the holiday season makes it all too easy to overindulge in sweet treats and to forego our exercise routines. But we know that eating a balanced diet and staying active are keys to living a longer and healthier life.
Winter means fresh-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables are more limited. Personal preferences and nutritional guidelines might be harder to align when all you really crave are comfort foods. Is someone paying attention to your menu planning and what you’re eating? Is there someone to help you stay active?
We All Need a Friend
Winter brings a host of big and little challenges that were easier to deal with when we were younger. It’s easier to get dehydrated at our age because we’re not drinking enough water or our homes are too warm and dry. Flu, RSV and COVID-19 pose significant health risks to our age group. After the frenzy of the holidays, we might be craving peace and quiet instead of calling friends or family. And then there’s those icy and snowy sidewalks, driveways and streets.
We all need a friend now and then to help us over the rough patches or after an accident. Someone to help us stay active, offer new and tasty dinner ideas, and to check on us when we’re under the weather. Successful aging in place means knowing you have someone to call on when you need them, certain they’ll be there for you. When you choose one of our Fellowship Freedom Plans, that someone is your personal Care Coordinator.
We offer several different plans so you can find the one that works best for you. As a member, no matter which wintry challenge you face, there’s someone ready to step in and assist you. You can count on your personal Care Navigator to be available 24/7 when the unexpected happens. As your personal care advocate, they’ll ensure you have what you need to live your best life.