Today, we’re sharing safety tips for seniors aging in place. 

Winter is harsh for our aging parents. They get sick quickly, and the risks of falling are higher. 

So what can you do as a caregiver, and how can you help keep them safe at home?

Let’s get on with these safety tips, then!

Common challenges for seniors during winter 

When the temperature drops, seniors are more likely to get sick or hurt because of the weather. 

While, winter has been very mild so far this year, we know that the cold is coming.

Of course, many things in life are better when you prepare. 

So let’s look at some of the precautions for everyone to take, especially the elderly, during the winter season.

Hypothermia

Because older people’s metabolisms are slower, they create less body heat than younger individuals. 

With that, it’s also more difficult for seniors to tell when the temperature is too low because the body changes as we age. 

It can be harmful because your body loses heat quickly when exposed to the cold for an extended period. 

Hypothermia, or a significant decline in body temperature, can then occur.

Frostbite

Frostbite happens when the body experiences damage to the skin, especially going down to the bones. 

Unfortunately, it commonly happens during freezing weather.

It affects the ears, nose, chin, cheeks, hands, and toes. In severe cases, it can lead to loss of limbs.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

It’s not uncommon to use heating sources or the fireplace during the winter season. 

Yet, if these sources aren’t properly used or cleaned, they can leak dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide. 

This one is a very deadly gas that you can’t see or smell. It sometimes also causes one to death.

Other appliances, such as space heaters, can also start fires, so always be careful.

Driving accidents 

Driving becomes more difficult as we get older naturally.

But, the winter season can worsen these challenges and make driving extremely dangerous.

For adults who are aged 65 and older, they are more involved in car crashes compared to other age groups.

And since the roadways and weather may not be ideal throughout the winter, it is crucial to be cautious when driving.

5 Winter Safety Tips for Seniors Aging in Place 

Snow, lights, and cozy fires can make the winter season one of the most beautiful times of the year. 

But, it has also become troubling for seniors, especially those who live alone and with restricted mobility.

Following these safety tips in the winter season with family and friends can help you prepare for the safest possible environment.

How to avoid getting seniors sick 

safety tips: flu shots

As the cold and flu season approaches, seniors and caregivers must understand how this weather can affect them. 

As we get older, our immune systems aren’t always as capable of fighting illnesses as they once were. 

As a result, when viruses like colds and influenza spread quickly, the winter season is a potentially deadly time for seniors.

A cold or the flu are both unpleasant. 

Colds can leave you with a sore throat and sneezing, while the flu leaves you with a high temperature, headaches, and chills.

For some, the flu may be nothing more than a minor inconvenience that leads them to miss a few days of work. 

It can, however, be life-threatening for elderly adults, particularly those with pre-existing conditions.

The American Lung Association advises adults over 50 to get a seasonal flu shot. 

And, the easiest way to avoid any problems involved with the flu is to prevent it before you get it. 

Getting a yearly flu shot might help you stay ahead of the game. 

It will not only keep you from being ill, but it will also protect the people around you. 

The shot works best when given at the start of the cold and flu season, although it can be administered at any time.

Carbon monoxide alarm 

Elderly adults often live alone and far from their family and friends. 

With this fact, it is vital to have carbon monoxide detectors in the house. Also, keep in mind that individuals should keep these detectors up to date.

Using a detector with defects might be dangerous as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning from the use of heaters or fireplaces.

It is one of the essential home safety tips you can use to save lives. 

It’s suggested to get a carbon monoxide detector to ensure that your home doesn’t become filled with poisonous gas.

Cleaning tips for the winter

safety tip: cleaning

As the temperature falls, so does the amount of snow and ice on the ground. 

While the views from your living room window are lovely, the concealed hazards lurking on the walkway are dangerous. 

You can get the assistance of a neighbor or a family member if you are unable to salt or shovel your driveway and walkways. 

The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a dangerous situation by trying to do the shoveling and salting on your own.

Also avoid unnecessary trips to the mailbox or taking the trash out. Wait for the melting if possible. Here in Georgia, it is unlike the ice lasts very long. Avoid an injury caused by slipping. Wait it out.

Shoveling and salting your driveway and walkways will help you stay safe by preventing you from slipping.

Also, get your chimney and flue checked by a professional before the cold weather arrives. 

Use the fireplace regularly so you know that all sections are working well. 

Having both of these checked and cleaned every year will give you peace of mind that using the fireplace will only keep you warm.

However, please do not attempt to check or clean it yourself. To avoid unnecessary injury, delegate this task to a trusted specialist. 

Rather than being injured and unable to attend family meals or gatherings, you want to be able to enjoy your time with your family.

All these cleanings are essential winter safety tips for seniors.

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

In-Home Care during weather emergencies

Some senior loved ones can stay home alone and take care of themselves, while others need in-home caregivers to keep them safe.

In either case, the in-home caregiver returns home for the night, and the family takes responsibility. 

If you don’t have a home helper, you should arrange for in-home assistance during weather situations to ensure their safety. 

You may hire someone to help with everyday tasks that would be difficult without power or invite the family to stay with you. 

Preparing for in-home care at critical times could save lives in each case. 

And just having a set of hands can help accomplish daily duties that become challenging in an emergency.

Prepare for possible outages

safety tips: prepare emergency kits

The cold weather undoubtedly increases the possibility of power disruptions. 

Power lines can become weighted down by heavy snowfall and ice conditions, making frequent power outages.

Take a look at these winter safety tips for home to avoid being caught off guard if your power goes out this winter.

Make sure you have flashlights and batteries on hand so you can navigate your home if the power goes out. 

Have blankets readily available (not in the basement, or in the bottom of a closet), so you can stay warm if the power goes out. 

Also, keep caps, scarves, and sweaters that you can layer readily available and accessible to maintain your body heat. 

Maintain non-perishable goods that may be eaten cold in your pantry. 

Keeping food in your pantry that won’t spoil and doesn’t need to be heated will be helpful.

A propane grill can be used to make hot meals outdoors, but do not use a gas grill for indoor heat as this can lead to carbon monoxide buildup.

How to avoid fall risks 

According to World Health Organization, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide. 

Adults above the age of 60 are usually the ones that have the fatal falls. 

Studies have also revealed a link between cold weather and elderly falls. As a result, elderly winter fall prevention is a significant concern. 

In the winter, it’s very simple to slip and fall. 

Avoid walking on slippery or snowy sidewalks; instead, opt for dry, clean walkways.

If you use a cane, replace the rubber tip before it becomes smooth, and wear boots with non-skid soles to avoid slipping. 

safety tips: avoid falls

You might also get an ice pick-like attachment for the end of the cane to keep you from slipping when walking with it.

They’ll also probably need to take a few steps to avoid falling, such as hazard-proofing their home.

Read here for more tips on how to make aging loved one’s houses safer to avoid falls.

Other measures that you can take include improving balance and strength. 

Also, be aware of medication interactions and discuss their medications with their primary care physician or pharmacist.

Low blood pressure, dizziness, vision changes, and a loss of balance are symptoms that can result from medication interactions.

Read more about preventing falls here.

Conclusion 

Aging in place can be extra challenging, especially for seniors who live alone. 

Because of this, we need to make sure that we have a checklist of safety tips to make sure they’re warm and healthy during this season. 

Did we miss anything? What safety tips do you practice for your elders at home?

Share them below.

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. THE NEED FOR CAREGIVER SELF CARE WHEN CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. BEST MOBILITY AIDS FOR SENIORS THAT WON'T BREAK THE BANK
  3. HAVE A SAFER HOME FOR THE ELDERLY WITH 5 MUST HAVE FEATURES

Caring for elderly parents may seem like a daunting task. 

It’s not easy to realize that our parents are aging fast. They’re not as strong as they were. And they’re not as patient as they used to be. 

Since we’re planning for the new year, it’s also a great time to check on our aging parents. 

So today, we’re talking about what steps you need to prepare for caring for elderly parents. 

5 warning signs your parents need help

Most of us are already planning our goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. 

Some have career goals, others have family goals. 

While we’re at it, why not check on our elders and see if they need help?

If you’re in your mid-30’s or 40’s, you’re probably at the age when your parents are starting to grow older. 

You may not even notice it, especially when they are still active and strong. 

Even if they’re still at the peak of their health, it doesn’t hurt to check on how they’re doing. And it’s also never too late to prepare for later days while they’re still strong. 

Here are the warning signs you need to check to know if your aging parents need your help. 

Negligence 

caring for elderly parents: negligence

The first thing that usually comes up when we think about negligence is hygiene. 

Truth is, negligence can manifest into different things. 

Are your parents paying the bills late or not at all? Does it seem like they're not keeping the house clean anymore? 

Are they misplacing or losing wallets, keys, or other important items?

It’s pretty common for us to lose track of these things at times. But if it happens regularly, then it might be something you need to take a look at. 

These little things that they neglect may not be too obvious especially if you don’t live together with them. 

So look for the little clues they might leave behind. 

Check for overdue bills they might be missing. See if they have little wounds or sores anywhere in their body. 

Talk to their friends or people they might be spending time with. Ask them if they see any changes in your parents. 

Are the kitchen and bathroom clean? Can they still keep house themselves? 

If the answer is yes, then you’re all good. Just make sure you’re checking up on them every so often.

Here are some signs to look out for to know if your parents are self-neglecting

Declining mental state 

It can be difficult to see if your aging parents are suffering from a declining mental state. 

But one of the easiest ways to check is to have conversations with them. If they can still carry a conversation without being confused, then they’re doing well. 

Signs of dementia can show as early as 40 years old, so it makes sense for you to be concerned. 

According to CDC, elders who live alone have a higher rate of experiencing cognitive decline. 

The lack of mental stimulation and conversations can increase their vulnerability to self-neglect.  

They also have higher risks of fall-related incidents. 

That’s why caring for elderly parents also involves increasing their social activities. 

Encourage them to meet with their friends or go golfing now and then. 

Book sleepovers with the kids and babysitting sessions. You get the rest you need and they also get to spend time with their grandkids. 

It’s a win-win. 

Health issues 

Your parents may still be feeling strong and healthy at this point. But it also pays to know what their health status is. 

Make sure you’re regularly in touch with their doctors and caregivers. 

It also helps to observe for any wounds or signs of falls they may have encountered. 

It might be difficult for our aging parents to admit they need help. So if you see them only a few times in a year, it’s best to get information from people they spend more time with. 

Now would be the best time to check for family health history if you haven’t yet. 

Check for any major hereditary illnesses like cancer, dementia, and diabetes. 

It’s also time to check for potential visual or hearing problems. 

Doing so will be beneficial for you and your kids too. This way you’ll be able to see what kind of lifestyle and environmental changes you need to delay or avoid these diseases altogether. 

Behavioral problems 

The aging process can be unpleasant and difficult to process for our parents. 

Their bodies may not be able to respond as quickly as before. And their minds may not be as sharp as they used to be. 

All these things may lead them to be resentful, distressed, and frustrated. Their temper may sometimes flare up around family members or friends. 

We should always be cautious of occurrences like these.

So how do you know if the changes in your parents’ behaviors are a cause of alarm?

There are certain behaviors that you need to watch out for. 

For example, elders who have pre-existing mental health conditions may show severe symptoms that relate to their illnesses. 

Those diagnosed with OCD can manifest in little things like saving tissue paper or picking on their skin. 

Hoarding, neglecting self-care, and lethargy can be signs of depression. 

Do they have unexplained anger outbursts? Or do they have abusive behaviors towards others? 

Are they swearing excessively or showing inappropriate behaviors? It might be signs of more serious neurocognitive disorders.

In any case, it’s best to take note of these behaviors and ask for professional opinions before jumping to conclusions.  

Social avoidance 

Some people are naturally introverted. They enjoy small crowds as larger ones tend to burn them out.

But for the elderly, social anxiety and isolation can be a cause for concern. 

What is normal and what are signs that you should be alarmed about? 

Social anxiety disorders may not be as easy to detect. But some of its symptoms can manifest themselves through physical pain. 

Those who suffer from it can experience stomach pains, vomiting, and nausea. It can also show in excessive sweating, insomnia, and muscle tensions. 

Paranoia is also common so take note of the things they say and feel. 

Most would have dreadful feelings of losing control and death. Some would even say people are plotting against them. 

If this is happening to your parents, it’s best to ask for help from a medical professional. 

Read more about how to address irrational parents here

Caring for elderly parents: What you need to know

Caregiving is not easy.

For most, adult children frequently provide care for their aging parents out of a sense of obligation or even guilt.

Sure it also has its rewards. Taking care of a parent is a good way to give back. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has great relationships with their parents. 

Some deal with broken relationships or years of abuse. Others have to deal with ghosts their parents need to deal with. 

This makes providing care for parents much more difficult. 

The question is, how do you prepare for caregiving when your aging parents need it the most?

The best way to go is to plan. This would mean having difficult conversations with your parents and other family members that are involved. 

The whole family should be on the same page as they move forward. 

caring for elderly parents

This conversation aims to talk about how your parent will need and want to be cared for as they get older. 

Having an open discussion with their best interests in mind doesn't have to be a fight, but it must be truthful. 

If they could no longer live alone in their home, where would they like to live? How will they pay for their care? Are they comfortable with where they are now?

These are all critical aspects you need to know about caring for elderly parents at home.

Our elderly parents need our full support and understanding. 

It takes a lot of thought and planning to ensure that aging in place is the right choice. 

When it's done right, it might be one of the most effective ways to improve your loved ones ability to grow old in peace and comfort.

At any age, it's hard to deal with change. How we help our parents and how they deal with these changes is the cornerstone to aging well. 

They may have a better attitude about life if you help them focus on the positive aspects and not on the negative parts of the situation.

It also helps to check on the actual experiences of caregivers with their aging parents. 

Some online groups and forums talk about their experiences. 

These groups act as a safe space where they can get tips on how to handle situations. The communities also offer comfort, especially for those who are experiencing the end-of-life phase. 

Learn more about what you need to know about aging in place here.

Do you need to hire a caregiver?

caring for elderly parents

Caring for elderly parents is a full-time job that usually isn’t as rewarding. 

Here’s a comforting thought: it’s perfectly fine to admit that you can’t be a primary caregiver to your aging parents. 

And it’s good to know that you have other options besides becoming the primary caregiver. 

You don’t need to feel guilty or embarrassed. Instead, think of it as making the best decision that will benefit all, including yourself, your family, and your aging parents. 

It's critical to be honest with your parent and yourself if you know some tasks are above your capabilities.

Be honest about how much care you can give without risking your health, relationships, or other obligations. 

If you take on too much, you risk burning out and losing your ability to care for others. 

As I’ve said, the key is to come prepared. 

Read some best books about caregiving to help with your expectations. It will also give you an idea of what your parents may need and what you need to look for in a caregiver. 

Check out some practical tips on caring for elderly parents here

Other simple ways like asking for your siblings or close relatives to share the load may help you too. 

They can help you do light household chores like sweeping or even take turns in caring for mom and dad.

You can also consider hiring in-home caregivers so you can have time for yourself.

Find the aid you can afford if you know you won't be able to do it all but want to provide your parent the best care possible. 

It may take some time and effort to find the best services at first, but it's an investment that will pay off in the long run.

You can also hire professionals for specific tasks like cleaning services, food packs, and part-time nurses. 

Check out the seven places to look for and hire caregivers for your aging parents here. 

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

Conclusion

Caring for elderly parents may not be easy. But it's part of being family. 

It's good to know that you have options to choose from. 

What matters is that you recognize the signs that your parents need help even if they don't speak of it. 

Knowing this will help the family plan accordingly and understand what future steps or plans to take.


That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. THE NEED FOR CAREGIVER SELF CARE WHEN CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW ELDERLY HOME CARE MAKES AGING IN PLACE POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS
  3. MODERN TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE CAREGIVER STRESS AND WORRY

Caring for aging parents during the holiday season can be rewarding and stressful. 

For one, it’s a time for continuing family traditions for the kids. But it can also be draining, especially for caregivers. 

While we’re slowly easing back to how things were, new COVID-19 variants pose a new threat. 

So how can we continue caring for aging parents during the holidays? 

Today I’ll be sharing the best tips to help you celebrate safely. 

Is it safe to visit my elderly parents now?

Our family has always looked forward to celebrating the holidays.

But since COVID-19, it’s been a challenge to get everyone together without the fear of being sick. 

As more people are vaccinated, or have natural immunity from previous exposure, things seem to be improving.

And yet there are new variants popping up with increasing frequency. Everyone may be wondering, is it safe to visit my elderly parents now?

It’s understandable for us to want things to get back to normal. 

But we have to accept that we will likely never be without some variant of COVID-19. 

The good news is that there are several ways to enjoy the holidays more safely. 

CDC has shared recommendations on how we can minimize risks and the spread. 

If you are not vaccinated but would like to be, you can find one near you here. 

If you are ill, or have symptoms of fever, cough, colds or flu, stay away from other people until your symptoms have resolved.

If you are have low immunity, or at high risk of infection such as during chemo treatments, please carefully consider the holiday events you attend.

8 Practical Tips on Caring for Aging Parents for the Holidays 

Now lets talk about the best tips on caring for aging parents during holiday celebrations. 

Family and holiday traditions are important parts of our lives, especially for the kids. 

That’s why we should be continuing these so our kids will have more memories to cherish as they grow. 

The question is, how do you make the celebrations easier during a pandemic? And how can you keep vulnerable safe and healthy while still having fun?

Here are my top tips… 

Plan Ahead

It helps to make preparations early on if you’re planning to get together this Christmas or New Year’s Eve. 

Send invites as soon as possible and let everyone know the size of the guest list so they can decide if attending is right for them.

Early planning also helps get your event on the calendar so there is less chance that your loved ones will have a conflicting event.

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

Keep the circle small if frail elderly are involved.

Keep in mind that you’re celebrating with the loved ones you are caring for, they may be at higher risk.

If so, it’s a safer option to keep the celebrations with them small. Consider limiting the attendees to immediate family members.

It makes sense to send RSVPs, so you will have an accurate idea who will be attending. 

And make sure to send reminders to everyone attending to monitor their symptoms and stay home if they are feeling ill.

Take standard precautions such as hand washing. Covering your nose and mouth in the event of a sneeze or cough.

These are the simple things that we should be doing all the time to protect our young children and the elderly.

Communicate often

caring for aging parents: communicate often

One of the best things that happened in our time is the ease of communication. 

Nowadays we all have handheld devices and a means to connect with each other from anywhere in the world. 

It’s now easier to keep up to date with everyone. Messaging apps like Viber and Whatsapp make it more convenient to talk. 

If you don’t have a chat group with the family yet, then it’s time to make one. 

Here you can plan and assign tasks much easier and give updates in real-time. 

Set up phone calls and video calls to keep everyone in sync. And if changes or challenges arise, make sure to keep the chat updated as well. 

Decide on which family traditions to continue 

One of the best things about the holidays is that you get to share family traditions with the young ones. 

It could be something as simple as singing Christmas carols while drinking hot chocolate. Or it could be as extravagant as going on family trips abroad. 

For this year, it’s best to choose the simplest yet most valuable ones. Or start a new tradition with your family.

Maybe have the whole family participate in a gratitude practice such as listing 3 things for which they are grateful.

Another option is packing gift boxes for a charity such as Operation Christmas Child.

caring for aging parents: traditions

It’s also a great time to introduce new holiday activities with seniors and kids. 

There are tons of activities that you can enjoy at home, like arts and crafts. 

You can start with recreating family recipes to serve on Christmas eve. Or take a look at old photos and reminisce by the fireplace. 

What matters most is that you are spending time and creating memories with the elders and the kids and keeping them safe as well. 

Check out some indoor holiday activities for seniors here. 

Simplify your plans

The holidays are usually stressful, but that doesn’t mean it has to be for you. 

One good thing about the pandemic is it taught us how to simplify and minimize. 

As a host, you don’t have to do things by yourself. And you also don’t need to make sure everything is perfect for your family to have fun. 

Some people’s love language is service and food. If you feel like preparing a feast for your family, go ahead. But it’s also okay to relax during the holidays. 

There’s nothing wrong with ordering takeout or preparing pre-cooked meals. And there’s also nothing wrong with prioritizing peace and rest. 

Keep things simple and minimal so you can spend time with your family too. 

Take note that there’s a higher percentage of strokes happening during the holidays. So be careful with the food you also prepare at this time. 

Go for high fiber, low-fat options. And if you must prepare something sinful, make sure to balance it out with healthier food as well. 

Check out these simple and easy holiday recipes you can prepare for your family. 

Be open to virtual get-togethers 

Keeping parties small doesn’t mean setting other family members apart. 

You can still host online gatherings using tools like ZoomSkype, and Google Meets

Set a specific time for an online meeting and invite all family members especially those in other locations. 

You can play online games like Pictionary where everyone can take turns guessing. Or try Name that Tune to make it more interesting. 

Make it more fun by playing Secret Santa and sending out packages and gifts to be opened on Christmas eve. 

Get more ideas for virtual games and activities here

Send gift packs and care packages to family 

caring for aging parents: gift packs

There’s been the ‘great resignation’ since the pandemic began in 2020. 

So many people have lost opportunities or resigned from work. And not everyone has coped ever since. 

Now is the best time to check in with other family members that might need help. 

Get in touch with aunts, uncles, and other grandparents who might need it the most. You can even use this time to pool funds with others who are willing to share. 

It doesn’t have to be grand. It needs to have the necessities like food packages, toiletries, and other items to keep them warm. 

Here are some care package ideas for seniors you can choose from

Don't wait until next year

One thing the pandemic and lock downs have taught us is need for human interaction. Especially for our aging loved ones.

Isolation leads to significant mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and speeds up the course of progressive diseases such as alzheimer's and dementia.

Be sure to check in with your loved ones as often as possible and spend quality time together. This may be time you never get back.

There are so many ways to celebrate together even if you’re miles away. Keep that in mind and keep yourself and your family safe and healthy this holiday season!

Conclusion

Caring for our aging parents can be challenging especially during the holidays. They can be extra sensitive during this time. 

And the pandemic is not making it any easier. 

Thankfully there are more options nowadays for our family to feel loved. All we have to do is be creative and think outside the box. 

How are celebrating the holidays and caring for your aging parents? Share your tips below.
 
That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AGE IN PLACE DESIGN GUIDELINES MADE ACHIEVABLE FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW TO DEAL WITH IRRATIONAL ELDERLY PARENTS PEACEFULLY
  3. THE NEED FOR CAREGIVER SELF CARE WHEN CARING FOR THE ELDERLY

Are you running out of ideas for care packages and gifts for your loved ones this holiday season? 

While most are happy with their retirement, some seniors may feel isolated or lonesome during these times. 

And even if the restrictions are slowly being lifted, some still feel uneasy about hosting parties and events. 

Care packages are a simple way for us to reach out and make them feel loved. 

So here are some great ideas for care packages to give your aging parents. 

What do you put in a care package?

Did you know that a care package is a registered trademark?

Care packages started as aid distributed by CARE in 1946. 

CARE International is an organization created to support people affected by World War II. As an international NGO, it works to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. 

At the time, about 2.8 Million US Army surplus was stockpiled to prepare for Japan’s invasion. Instead of it going to waste, CARE’s leaders worked together with the US Army to send these food parcels to Europe. 

A CARE package bound to Germany. Image from Smithsonian Mag

Americans were given a chance to buy the parcels for $10 apiece and send them to family and friends in Europe. 

President Harry Truman encouraged Americans to support the cause. The movement eventually saved the lives of millions in Europe.

CARE International also became a missing person service during the chaos after the war. Even if the sender didn’t know the address of the recipient, volunteers would go out of their way to find them. 

Eventually, care packages started to include baby food, textiles, and other essentials. 

As time went by, care packages have been adopted widely as a term used for parcels sent for relief or comfort. 

Parents would include ready-to-eat food packages, toiletries, and other necessities for their kids going to college.

Companies would send care packages to employees as a token of appreciation. 

Care packages are even used as housewarming gifts for newlyweds packed with housekeeping supplies. 

While the options are endless, it can be tough to think about what to include in your care package. 

The key is to have a good understanding of who you are gifting it to. 

Ideas for Christmas care packages

It’s important to take note of your aging parent’s health in choosing what to add to your parcel. 

Most might choose food items like sweets and ready-to-eat options. But take note that these might cause more harm than good for our seniors. 

Here are some unique finds and gifts that you can use for ideas for Christmas care packages. 

Technology gifts 

Contrary to popular belief, gadgets need not be expensive to perform well. It also doesn’t need to be popular brands. 

The great thing is, there are tons of gadgets available on Amazon and other online stores. And each gadget also serves a practical purpose to help seniors cope better. 

ideas for care package - tile mate

The Tile Mate is a versatile tracker that can help your aging parents find important items they tend to misplace. 

It’s easy to use and keeps track of items up to 250 feet away. It’s also water-resistant and works well with Apple and Android devices. 

You can even use voice-assisted gadgets like Alexa, Google, and Siri to track and find it. 

All you need to do is attach the tile to things like keys, phones, wallets, and bags and you’re good to go. 

It’s so practical you might want to get one for yourself too. 

You can get yours here. 

ideas for care packages - medicine dispenser
The MedMinder Medication Dispenser

Too many pills to take? The Medminder Medication Dispenser makes it much easier for your aging parents to get reminders for their meds. 

It gives them the right meds at the right amount and the right time. 

The Medminder also gives visual, audio, and phone alerts as reminders. And in case they miss a dose, you will also be notified about it. 

Medminder comes with an advanced locking functionality that opens only one compartment at a time. It also has emergency medical alerts at no additional cost. 

You can even record voice messages and personal images with their virtual photo album. 

The set also comes with a bracelet and emergency call button for a quick-response emergency call center. 

Get yours here. 

Movie nights basket

Do your aging parents love the movies? Then it would be a great time to add their favorites and prepare a movie night basket for Christmas eve. 

You can add in a cozy blanket to curl up in for the movie. You could also throw in neck pillows for added comfort. And don’t forget the socks to warm up your feet. 

ideas for care packages -movie nights
Make a DIY Movie Night In A Can inspired by The DIY Mommy

Look for sugar-free treats that seniors can enjoy. Go for dried fruit and nut mixes or order sugar-free desserts they can enjoy. 

If you’re coming over with the kids, then add treats that everyone will love. Add in cookies, chips, crackers, chocolate bars, and other healthier options for the seniors. 

You can even add a mini-popcorn machine for that movie house feel. 

Here are some movie night basket ideas you can find inspiration from. 

Long-distance relationship care packages 

It’s good to know that states are lifting restrictions brought by the pandemic. Despite this, not everyone feels comfortable about hosting parties or traveling. 

It’s understandable to prioritize health and safety. And care packages are a great way for us to remind our aging parents that they are missed and loved. 

So here are some of the best ideas for long-distance care packages for our loved ones. 

A taste of home 

Everyone craves a taste of home, especially for the elderly. 

Food brings about memories and a sense of belongingness. Unfortunately, not all of our loved ones are still able to cook. 

That’s why it’s also a good idea to send family favorites along with your care package. 

It doesn’t always have to be gourmet or expensive. What matters is the nostalgia that comes along with it. 

Nowadays there are lots of options to go about this. Improvements in packaging and food safety now make it possible to send delicacies without spoilage. 

Online stores and specialty restaurants now prepare canned, bottled, and frozen delights. 

Not a good cook? You can contact local stores to prepare and deliver it for you to save on costs. 

All you need to know is where to find the treats that your elders loved. 

Check out Snakk, a subscription box filled with authentic snacks you can’t find outside of Japan.

These boxes were carefully curated by a team of foodies from all over the Japanese region. 

Most are even handcrafted by artisans in the country. And each box is carefully wrapped in a traditional Furoshiki wrapping cloth. 

Do your parents love French food? Then try out Bon Appetit Box

Each box contains gourmet delicacies straight from France. It contains a combination of sweet and savory treats inspired by cozy French winters. 

Some of the boxes are inspired by destinations such as Provence and Paris. You can even choose from single-serve boxes to the Chef box that includes favorites from all over France. 

Relaxation kits

Relaxation kits are the perfect gift packs for seniors who love pampering and self-care. 

Most of the time, the elderly put the needs of others before theirs. And relaxation kits are a great way to remind them to sit back and relax. 

So what are some good ideas for care packages for relaxation? 

You can start with essential oils and a diffuser. 

Here’s a disclaimer. I don’t have affiliate links for these brands. I just like the thought of simple, ready-made kits that make it easy to choose. 

Young LivingdoTerra, and Plant Therapy are the most popular ones. Each has gift set options that you can get easily. 

You can choose from a wide range of products they have. These can include body oils and other beauty products that your moms will love. 

If you don’t know which one to pick, ask your wife or girlfriend for help. 

You can also get lumbar pillows or therapeutic herbal pillows that they can heat in the microwave or chill in the freezer. 

Add a mini-massager and you’re set up for a relaxing home spa experience. 

Best gifts for nursing home residents

What if your loved ones are in a nursing home? What are the best care package options you can give them? 

The lack of space is a common challenge for seniors living in nursing homes. Most of them also have physical health issues and other concerns. 

Because of this, you need to consider gift ideas that are practical to use. It is also best to give items that help them in their daily needs. 

Check out these care package ideas for seniors in homes and assisted living. 

The Creatives Kit 

Are your loved ones fond of the arts? Do they love to write stories? 

Then a creatives kit would be a great gift to give. 

Pack your baskets with art supplies like paint sets, brush holders, brush cleaners, and pens. 

You can even add journals, notebooks, drawing pads, and other sketching materials. 

There are also add non-conventional items such as coloring books for adults or books about their favorite artists. 

Step it up a notch with art-inspired jewelry like this color wheel necklace

ideas for care packages

Are they more of the journaling type? 

Give them a journaling kit. Add in colorful pens with different textures, stickers, and other items they can add. 

You can even include therapy doughs that they can use to shape and play with. 

Uncommon Goods have this therapy dough that’s infused with essential oils to keep them calm and relaxed while playing. 

ideas for care packages
Therapy clay from Uncommon Goods

Easy garden kits 

Do your aging parents have green thumbs? Then an easy garden kit would be perfect for them. 

Succulents are perfect for seniors to take care of even in nursing homes. 

ideas for care packages - mini garden
Succulents make a good gift for elders in a nursing home

They tolerate dry indoor air well. Most of them are strong and green. And they also create beautiful blooms in bright colors. 

Succulents are also great for cleaning up the air and improving air quality. They’re known for pulling contaminants and keeping air humidity to optimal levels. 

And best of all, they don’t take up much space. 

You can put them on window sills, bookshelves, and don’t require much attention. 

Taking care of plants is also great for their well-being. Adding them to the room makes it more alive and homely. 

It also helps them cope with loneliness especially during the holiday season. 

Self-care kits 

Prepare comforting items in your care package for your loved ones in homes. 

Go for fluffy bathrobes and non-skid socks or slippers to prevent them from slipping or falling. 

Add in fidget quilts for seniors who are suffering from dementia. It can provide them with a helpful distraction and calm them down as well. 

Bath and body items such as lotions, body sprays, and lip balm are always a great idea. 

Towels and blankets are also a great addition. 

Don’t forget to add homemade comfort food and snacks to nibble on. 

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

Best Practices in Making Care Packages for Seniors 

Care packages are a great way to remind our elderly of how much we care for them. 

So make sure you’re taking extra effort for them to feel it even if we’re miles away. 

Take note of any dietary restrictions before adding any food items to your care box. Make sure nothing in the pack would spike up their sugar or blood pressure levels. 

Don’t buy anything too expensive or bulky. 

And also check with the nursing home for rules regarding packages. There’s been a lot of changes because of the pandemic. So take note of any items that they might not allow. 

It’s also recommended to use the proper packaging for breakable stuff like glass. Or better yet, get ones that are not too fragile. 

Make it look nice. If you’re not much of a designer, ask your wife or kids to help you with arranging it. 

And most of all, make it count. 

Ask family members to write notes and letters and put them in an envelope. Use bright colored envelopes so your elders can see them immediately. 

If you’re buying a care package or a curated box from a subscription store, make sure to add even a simple note. 

What we want is for them to feel how much they are valued and missed. 

Final thoughts 

The holidays can be a lonely season for our elderly especially if they’re far away from their families. 

While these ideas for care packages might help them feel the love, nothing beats the gift of presence. 

If it’s still not possible to drop by or visit, make sure to call and check on them. I’m sure they’ll be delighted to hear from you. 

What other ideas for care packages do you have? Share them with us below. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. 5 Effective Tips for Better Sleep in the Elderly
  2. 5 Best Books About Caregiving Adult Caregivers Must Read
  3. Therapeutic Activities that Boost the Morale of the Elderly

Seniors need regular exercises for coordination and balance. 

We all know how beneficial regular exercise is. And as caregivers, we should practice preventive measures to keep them healthy and safe. 

With the holidays coming, it’s easy to forget these things. 

It’s a special time when we get to gather with friends and family. And because restrictions are easing up, we’re all excited to celebrate with the people we love. 

All the festivities can also mean higher stroke rates, especially with the seniors in the household. 

So today I will share some tips about stroke prevention and exercises for coordination and balance for elders. 

The holiday season is stroke season 

Exercises for coordination and balance - holidays with seniors

Holidays are jam-packed with family, gifts, and food. Unfortunately, most stroke cases also happen during this time. 

Almost 800,000 strokes occur in the United States each year alone. And there are certain factors that influence these numbers. 

A person’s age, health condition, and even the season can affect the chances of stroke. 

Let’s look at the most common ones. 

Stress

38% of the population says their stress levels increase during the holidays according to the American Psychological Association. 

Most people also feel the financial stress caused by holiday spending. 

Debra Kissen, the co-chair of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, says the “happiness trap” caused this. 

The holiday season comes with the pressure of joy and happiness. Most are expected to share moments with family and friends. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has the Hallmark version of family. 

We all have issues and struggles to face. And sometimes, family gatherings trigger the worst in us. 

It’s no wonder why strokes happen the highest during this season. 

The stress caused by the season can elevate heart rates, increase blood pressure, and encourage unhealthy behaviors in us. 

Stressors like family responsibilities, work pressures, and even our stress responses can trigger heart attacks and strokes. 

So the best thing to do is to manage our expectations and stress responses as well. 

Alcohol

wine and beer

What would a celebration be without wine and beer? 

Yet, it is a dangerous activity affecting many of our elderly. 

Alcohol is the most often used substance among adults aged 65 and up. The problem is, our bodies don’t handle alcohol as well as we grow older. 

Alcohol abuse in the elderly is also frequently unnoticed, unreported, and untreated.

Drinking too much over long periods can lower the immune system. It can also cause liver damage, brain damage, and cancer. 

It worsens health conditions and illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, and ulcers. 

Alcohol can even cause memory loss and mood disorders. 

High consumption of alcohol combined with fatty and high caloric meals can also increase strokes in the elderly. 

That’s why we should also note the amount of alcohol our loved ones take during the holidays. 

Or better yet, try avoiding alcohol altogether. 

Overeating 

Exercises for coordination and balance - overeating

A few heavy meals are unlikely to cause problems on their own. 

But an entire season of high-fat, sugar, and high-cholesterol eating can put the elderly at risk of strokes. 

People bond over food. And it’s a challenge to watch what you eat when everyone is having a good time. 

Of course, you don’t want to be the party pooper. And it’s difficult to control the urge, especially when your favorites are in front of you. 

Overeating can cause several health problems, especially for the elderly with digestion issues.

Large meals can increase the production of norepinephrine, a hormone that raises heart rates and blood pressure. 

Fatty food and refined carbs can also raise triglycerides, which increase fat in the blood. 

That’s why cardiologists recommend widening food selections during the holidays. 

Try replacing high-fat food with leaner cuts. You can also add salads and high-fiber options to the table.

 

Lack of sleep 

Sleep deprivation is a silent killer. And most people lose sleep preparing for the holidays. 

The National Sleep Foundation says the added holiday stress contributes to sleep problems in adults. 

Tensions, racing thoughts, and preparations can affect everyone in the household. 

It interferes with sleep habits. And this can mess up our circadian rhythm. 

The elderly can also feel the anxiety and anticipation of the season. 

Rowdy kids and noisy relatives can also disturb their rest times. 

And even if we think it’s just a quick period, it can still have an enormous impact on the elderly’s health. 

The best way to go is to give your loved ones plenty of room for rest. Encourage lots of power naps and pauses. 

And make sure not to overcrowd your schedule so you’ll all have time to recharge. 

What Types of Strokes Are There? 

stroke

The hospital is the worst place to be, especially during the holidays. 

Unfortunately, more people find themselves in the emergency room this season. 

As caregivers, it’s important for us to know how to prevent medical emergencies during this time. 

That’s why you also need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of strokes. 

Let’s look at the types of strokes and how the body responds to them. 

Ischemic Stroke

About 87% of stroke cases are ischemic, which means blood flow to the brain is restricted by a blockage. 

Ischemic strokes are divided into two: thrombotic and embolic.

A thrombotic stroke happens when a clot forms in the arteries. If clot forms elsewhere, then it’s an embolic stroke.  

Ischemic strokes can also happen when plaque builds up in the arteries, causing them to narrow down. 

Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or leaks. These ruptures are caused by high blood pressure and aneurysms. 

Hemorrhagic strokes are divided into two: intracerebral and subarachnoid.

Intracerebral hemorrhage is highly lethal. It happens when a brain artery bursts and floods the surrounding tissue with blood. 

This can cause sudden death to the person experiencing it. 

Subarachnoid hemorrhage is less lethal but can cause long-term damage to the brain. 

Aneurysms happen on the brain surface causing pressure to build up in the skull. This can lead to complications, brain cell damage, and severe disabilities.

Warning signs of stroke to watch out for 

It’s necessary to know the signs of a stroke. Every second is vital. And the earlier we respond, the better our chances of survival will be. 

The best way to go is to follow the FAST check. 

FAST stands for face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time.

If you’re suspecting a person of stroke, the first thing to do is ask them to smile. 

Check if one side of the face is drooping or uneven. 

Then ask the person to raise both arms. If one of the arms falls or shows weakness, they could be suffering from a stroke.

Check if the person’s speech is slurred or if they have trouble speaking. And lastly, call 911 as soon as you confirm all symptoms. 

Recently, the acronym has been updated to FASTER. 

Credits to Beaumont.org

Some other stroke symptoms include blurry or double vision, intense headaches, vomiting, or altered awareness. 

You can also do a quick verbal check by asking the patient to repeat simple sentences like “The sky is blue.” 

Here’s a quick video of how to assess if a patient is suffering from a stroke. 

Best Exercises for Coordination and Balance for Stroke Patients

A stroke can be a traumatic and taxing experience for anyone. And each year 15 million people suffer from a stroke worldwide. 

It can be physically and mentally challenging especially when it happens so suddenly. That’s why we always recommend preventive measures to avoid it. 

Read more about the warning signs of geriatric depression here. 

Each stroke is different and the severity of symptoms follow a stroke can vary wildly.

But in case our aging parents suffer from a stroke, it would help to have them do exercises for coordination and balance regularly if they are able. 

Most of the time, stroke survivors experience muscle weakness. Their bodies are also often less flexible after a stroke. 

Simple tasks like raising arms, moving the legs, and other occupational functions can be difficult to perform. 

exercises for seniors

Because of this, stroke survivors should be focusing more on strength, coordination, and flexibility training. 

This should help them improve their balance and lessen their risk of falls. 

Learn about balance exercises here. 

Some of the best exercises for stroke patients include heel raises, side steps, and squats. 

These low-impact movements can improve muscle strength. It’s easy, gentle, and can be done effectively even without any equipment. 

Walking is the most popular low-impact exercise. It burns calories and pumps up the cardiovascular system. 

The best part is, the patient can choose their pace and intensity. 

Stroke patients should have workouts at least two to three times a week. Each workout can last from 10 to 15 minutes. 

Just make sure to get the doctor’s approval before planning and doing any exercise routines. 

Read more about core exercises for seniors here.

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

Conclusion

Holiday celebrations can increase the chances of stroke especially in the elderly. 

However, strokes can be avoided through smart planning and keeping our celebrations practical. 

It’s best to choose safer meal options by adding healthier food to our feasts. 

We should also prepare for the worst-case scenario by recognizing the signs and symptoms of strokes. 

It is also best to encourage movement during downtimes. You can even incorporate it through leisurely walks, games, and other fun activities the whole family can enjoy. 

And most of all, we must engage our elderly in doing exercises for coordination and balance. 

Doing this will ensure their overall health and wellness, and also prevent strokes from happening.

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. HOW MOBILITY TRAINING CAN BENEFIT ELDERS AGING IN PLACE
  2. BEST MOBILITY AIDS FOR SENIORS THAT WON'T BREAK THE BANK
  3. HAVE A SAFER HOME FOR THE ELDERLY WITH 5 MUST HAVE FEATURES