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4 Tips for Weathering the Winter for Seniors

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4 Tips for Weathering the Winter for Seniors

While seniors residing in the Bethesda Gardens assisted living community in Arlington, Texas, get the benefit of Texas winters that are milder than experienced in some areas of the country, they may still deal with winter blahs and blues. And if you're used to the sunny, hot summers that the area has to offer, even a mild winter can feel a bit too chilly for your bones. Try some of these tips for staying warm and upbeat from late fall to early spring.

1. Balance Light and Temperature

You get less natural light in winter, both because the days are shorter and because you're less likely to get outside when it's cold or uncomfortable. It also tends to be chillier inside and out during peak winter months. Your body reacts to this environmental cocktail by sending sleep signals and hormones to your brain, which may make you may want to sleep more during the winter. Lower levels of light and temperature may also be linked to episodes of seasonal affective disorder for some people.

Seniors can fight back against these issues by getting as much natural light during the winter days as possible. Go for outdoor walks whenever the weather allows. Otherwise, spend time walking or chatting with others in indoor areas that include natural light from windows, or sit near a window to bask in some natural light as you read in your own apartment.

You may also want to find a comfortable temperature for sleeping to ensure the hours you do spend in bed are restful. We tend to crank up the thermostat in the winter to ward off the chill, but the average optimal sleeping temperature for most people is between 64 and 68 degrees F. If your assisted living apartment is too warm at night, you might find yourself tossing and turning.

2. Find (or Unpack) Some Favorite Cold-Weather Clothing

While it might pay to keep the room chilly at night so you can cozy into covers for restful sleep, you probably don't want to be cold during the day. Since productive seniors can't wear their comforters all day, it's important to have a few go-to cold-weather clothing options that you love wearing.

Consider investing in a robe or a warm cardigan you can wear around your assisted living apartment or the community. To help ensure you get out and about during the winter, make sure you have a warm-weather outfit with a coat you feel mobile and comfortable in.

3. Plan Ways to Get Out, Even if the Weather Isn't Ideal

Don't let old-man winter relegate you to isolation in your assisted living apartment. Plan to get out whenever possible to enjoy the amenities Arlington has to offer. Take advantage of planned assisted living outings where transportation is provided or arrange events with family or friends who don't mind getting out in the cold alongside you.

Arlington may be known for outdoor parks and attractions that are best suited to spring or summer, but seniors can find plenty of indoor winter activities. Options include:

the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

the Arlington Museum of Art

the UTA Planetarium

4. Make the Most of Bad Weather Days in Your Assisted Living Community

On the coldest or rainiest of winter days, you may not want to hit the roads for an Arlington adventure. But you also don't have to stay huddled in your assisted living apartment all day. Venture into the Bethesda Gardens community to find conversation with friends in the common areas, join in exercise or crafting programs or enjoy a hot meal in the dining room with others.

The key to weathering the winter is staying busy and mobile and enjoying time spent with others.

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