Are you feeling colder as you get older? 7 Tips to Help

Dec 8, 2021
Senior woman adjusting thermostat

Aging brings with it a lot of physical changes that are simply a normal part of life. Among them is an increased sensitivity to cold temperatures, thanks to a slower metabolism, thinner skin, and some diseases, conditions and even medications. But there are ways to stay warm even as the temperature drops — indoors and outdoors. Try these tips to stay warm this winter.

Senior Health: 7 Tips to help you stay warm this winter

#1 — Turn up the heat.

Obviously, the first step to staying warm is to turn up the heat. That’s the fastest way to warm up a home and many seniors keep their heat higher than they did when younger. To ensure that a furnace can do the job, make sure to have it checked each fall before it gets cold, follow up on maintenance, change filters regularly, and make sure the furnace and all the ducts and vents are not obstructed and that the thermostat is working properly. Find out what maintenance a gas furnace needs in the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors “Gas Furnace Inspection Checklist.”

#2 — Layer clothing.

Seniors who are beginning to feel colder than normal can easily benefit from layering clothing. This is something outdoor enthusiasts have been doing for a long time to help them stay comfortable in all kinds of weather. According to the REI Co-op blog, “Layering Basics,” the best way is to have a base layer like long underwear, a middle layer to hold on to body heat, and a third layer to provide a shield from the elements. For seniors indoors, that last layer could be a sweater, wool shirt, or other jacket-like clothing to keep the chill off. Also be sure to wear a hat, gloves and warm boots when outdoors.

#3 — Let the sunshine in.

Winter can be bright when the sun is out and reflects off the snow, so when blessed with a sunny day, open drapes and shades and take advantage of the warmth and the light. Not only will the sun warm and brighten the home, but seniors can also benefit from just sitting in the sunshine because it helps them create vitamin D and shake off the “winter blues,” now known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD, which can cause depression.

#4 — Drink warm beverages.

Sipping a cup of coffee or tea is a great way to warm up from the inside out, but there are many more great warm drinks to savor including hot chocolate, latte, apple cider, milk with cinnamon, and cranberry juice. And for each, there are dozens of ways to make them fancy and fabulous as shown in blog, “Top 10 Non-Alcoholic Hot Drinks for Fall and Winter.” By avoiding alcohol, seniors will also warm up quicker because alcohol makes you feel colder, not warmer, as many believe.

#5 — Run a humidifier.

Humid air feels warmer (which is why muggy summer days seem so hot) so running a humidifier can help. But humidifiers have other benefits as well, including minimizing itchy dry skin, allergies, sinus problems, irritated eyes, and possibly preventing spread of the flu through the air. To learn more and choose the best type of humidifier for a senior’s home, check out the article, “Benefits of Using a Humidifier.”

#6 — Cover-up.

When seated for long periods cover up with a throw or blanket. One of the warmest choices is down and the options are available to match just about any preference or décor. Down is also very light which may be preferable for seniors who are frail or injured. Another excellent choice for many seniors is an electric warming throw, which is just like an electric blanket but smaller. These are also available in plush faux fur that is especially soft on seniors’ thinner, more fragile skin. Be aware that seniors with memory problems or certain conditions like diabetes, paralysis, or Parkinson’s disease maybe not be good candidates for using electric throws or blankets. If you’re unsure, check with their physician.

#7 — Move.

Physical activity is one of the best ways to warm up and there are plenty of ways seniors can get moving. Housework is one great way as is exercising via online sources like AARP or YouTube. Even chair exercises can help generate heat while keeping joints and muscles agile.

At Ganton’s Countryside we offer residents a warm and active environment with plenty of fun and invigorating things to do, indoors and out. For more information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.

assisted living near me

Subscribe to our blog.

Recent Posts

8 Ways an Independent Living Community Supports Your Lifestyle

What do you want out of retirement? The freedom to roam? Relief from all the responsibilities of owning a home? Time to pursue self-fulfillment? Exceptional services and amenities? No matter how you perceive your desired retirement lifestyle, take a look at some of...

Health Changes to Look for When Visiting Mom Over the Holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with family and friends, but they also offer an opportunity to assess the health and well-being of a senior loved one. This is especially true if it has been weeks or months since the last visit since changes will...

Dementia: Understanding Sundown Syndrome

Dementia is a devastating diagnosis with many implications, not the least of which is a condition known as sundown syndrome. Also called sundowning or sundowner’s syndrome this condition generally strikes late in the day as the sun goes down but can occur anytime...

5 Tips for Better Mornings with Arthritis

“Arthritis” is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases and conditions that cause joint pain and inflammation.  While people of all ages can have arthritis, seniors often expect arthritis to occur as they age and when it does, mornings can be especially painful....

Why Everyone Needs an Advance Directive

Do you know what will happen if you are suddenly incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself? While it’s human nature to adhere to the “that won’t happen to me” mindset, the reality is that no one knows what the future holds. That’s why every adult needs an...

5 Decorating Tips for Your Senior Living Retirement Home

After years of living in a family home, moving to a senior living community and starting anew means decorating a new senior living home, something that can be a fun and exciting experience. But where to begin? Whether the new home is a house, condo, cottage or...

The Alzheimer’s Disease Challenges Women Face

Alzheimer’s disease is devastating and its prevalence is on the rise. According to the report, “2023 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures,” in 2023 there are about 6.7 million Americans age 65 and older with the disease, and as the population ages, that...

Home Safety for Older Adults: A Checklist of Top Considerations

Home safety for older adults is top of mind concern for loved ones and adult children. According to the AARP Home and Community Preference Survey,  79% of seniors (ages 50 and above) prefer to live at home as they age, but only about 34% recognize they may need to...

When One Partner Has a Dementia Diagnosis and the Other Doesn’t

A dementia diagnosis is a devastating event in any marriage and one that really changes everything going forward. Suddenly there are so many unknowns, so many new concerns, and so much sadness that the healthy spouse may be overwhelmed. One of the greatest of the...

What Services Do Memory Care Communities Provide?

Making the decision to move yourself or a loved one to a memory care community should be a well-informed one. All memory care communities are not created equal, but the best have several things in common. When comparing memory care communities be sure to include the...

Share This