For seniors, the winter season can be lonely and difficult. The colder weather and limited daytime hours can make it more difficult to get outside in the fresh air, and unsafe road conditions during ice and snow can keep them at home more often. Older adults who live alone may feel especially isolated and struggle to enjoy the holidays, especially if they don’t have a solid community of friends and family nearby. But winter doesn’t have to be a dark, dreary season! For older adults in senior living communities, winter can bring joy. Let’s explore how a senior living community can help with navigating the pitfalls of winter.
What Makes Winter Especially Difficult for Seniors?
The winter season for seniors can affect more than just their sense of community. It also can have a significant impact on their bodies. As we age, our bodies become more sensitive to the cold.
According to the CDC, seniors with a body temperature below 95°F will experience hypothermia, which can result in heart disease and liver or kidney damage. Because seniors’ bodies can more easily drop in temperature, they need to be more careful to stay warm in the winter. Here are a few other concerns for seniors in the winter season:
Increased Risk of Illness in Winter Months
Late fall and winter are flu season, and seniors are even more likely to contract this illness which could be severe or even fatal. In addition to the need to stay warm, avoiding dangerous illnesses keeps seniors isolated and indoors more often.
Cold Exacerbates Aches and Pains
Barometric pressure—or the weight of the atmosphere on people and objects—fluctuates a lot more in the winter. This adds to the pressure on joints and makes our tissues expand and contract, which increases arthritic pain for older adults.
The heightened discomfort from arthritis in the wintertime can make it more difficult for older adults to manage their daily tasks or even get out and socialize on a cold day.
The Impact of Isolation on Mental Health
As mentioned earlier, the increased isolation during the winter months can have a significant negative impact on senior mental health. Seniors who are living in isolation have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, or even mood and memory disorders.
The Winter Season for Seniors in a Senior Living Community
Even when the weather outside is frightful, seniors living in a community tend to feel happier and stay on track during winter with their health and wellness. A senior living community gives residents built-in friendships, activities, and wellness resources to maintain a positive outlook and a thriving lifestyle no matter the weather!
Here are just a few of the ways seniors can more easily weather the winter season in a senior living community:
1. Built-in Community
When you reside in a senior living community, you have relationships naturally built-in with your home! St. Anthony’s makes it easy for residents to get to know one another and enjoy life to the fullest with three full activity calendars—one for each senior living lifestyle—on top of lots of comfortable common areas for residents to socialize in. There’s no need to bundle up to visit with your neighbors or enjoy a meal with friends!
St. Anthony’s residents enjoy spacious apartments for hosting friends and family as well, making any social call comfortable for everyone.
2. A Cozy Environment
There’s nothing quite like a warm, crackling fire on a chilly winter day, which is why all of our independent living apartments at St. Anthony’s have large fireplaces in addition to individual thermostats. With these added comforts, seniors can stay as warm as they need to, keeping them safe from hypothermia and easing any physical discomfort from temperature.
To make sure no resident feels uncomfortable, we also keep the public areas of our facility nice and warm!
3. Festive Celebrations
The best part of winter is the holidays, which keep everyone in high spirits despite the gloomy weather! Senior living communities are known for their lively holiday spirit, and St. Anthony’s is certainly no exception! From festive crafts to holiday parties and on-theme decor throughout the facility, we help keep things “holly and jolly” for seniors to make winter their favorite time of year again.
4. Medical Care On-site
Since seniors are at higher risk of illness and physical discomfort in cold weather, this time of year makes it especially important for them to have quick access to medical care and support. Senior living communities have nurses and other medically trained staff always available when residents need them.
Whether a resident needs some physical therapy to work out some arthritis inflammation or requires tending while recovering from the flu, St. Anthony’s has medical staff available 24/7 to support our residents with excellent care!
5. Fitness Center
One of the best things you can do to manage arthritis pain and keep your body temperature regulated during the colder months is to exercise regularly. Many senior living communities have an on-site fitness center, and at St. Anthony’s residents don’t even need to leave the main building to access a fully stocked gym and plenty of group exercise classes!
St. Anthony’s has everything residents need all in one beautiful building surrounded by lovely visitation gardens so even when it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors, residents can stay fit and active.
Experience the Comfort and Joy of Senior Living at St. Anthony’s!
We believe that the years of senior living should be some of your best yet, no matter the season. It’s truly an honor to spend the holidays with so many caring and incredible residents, and we can’t wait to welcome even more home to St. Anthony’s soon! If you’re looking for the perfect place to call home for the holidays, we’d love for you to join the St. Anthony’s community. Contact us to learn more and schedule a tour!