The cold winter is more difficult for the elderly because they are prone to some winter diseases, such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, etc.
It is common for the elderly to have weakened immunity and not pay attention to keeping warm, which leads to a common cold and fever, which causes severe respiratory problems. Usually, the lungs of the elderly have poor cold resistance, and colds and coughs are prone to occur. So keeping warm is very important. But you can’t wear too much, or you will sweat, and it is easy to catch a cold once the wind blows.
In winter, the elderly should strengthen the warmth of crucial parts, such as the head, neck, chest and back. You can wear hats and scarves, add a vest, and avoid cold wind when going out. In addition, the elderly are prone to flu and should go to public places less often. Flu and pneumonia vaccines can be vaccinated when autumn and winter alternate if conditions permit.
The factors that cause the elderly to fall are many and complex, among which osteoporosis is one of the common reasons. In addition, the elderly are also prone to falls due to factors such as ageing, muscle atrophy, joint stiffness and poor coordination, and unbalanced vision caused by decreased vision. It is common in the early morning and night when using the toilet, bathing and outdoor activities.
Therefore, don’t use too much force when you get up or walk and rest properly. In addition, the elderly should wear non-slip shoes in winter and put some small footpads, carpets in the home. The floor of the toilet and shower room should be kept dry. After falling asleep at night, the house should also maintain specific lighting to avoid getting in the dark.
In winter, the temperature is low, and the cold weather will stimulate the human blood vessels to contract. It increases the heart rate, increases blood pressure, and increases the heart’s load. And it also affects the nature of the plaque in the blood vessels of the elderly, causing it to fall off and block the blood vessels and induce stroke, myocardial infarction, etc. In winter, the elderly should keep warm, pay attention to changes in blood pressure and blood sugar, and ensure adequate rest time.
In particular, one should pay attention to “morning hypertension”, so you should pay attention to the changes in blood pressure when you get up in the morning. It would be best if you did not get up too quickly. Some middle-aged and elderly people have “nocturnal hypoglycemia”. And the harm caused by hypoglycemia will be more significant. For mild patients, sugar can be added, such as eating chocolate, candy, sugar water, etc., but severe patients must be symptomatic. Seek medical attention promptly.
It is not advisable to overeat and eat irregularly. Do not overeat fatty or irritating food. It is not uncommon for middle-aged and older people to have gastrointestinal bleeding in winter. In addition to bad eating habits, it is also related to taking medicines. For example, some people with osteoporosis have not seen a doctor and only rely on painkillers for relief. and wait for gastrointestinal bleeding before seeking medical attention.
Constipation is also a significant problem that plagues middle-aged and older people. When people are old, their body functions decline, their intestinal peristalsis function is weak. Muscle weakness will affect eating, swallowing, walking, and excretion. People’s neurological functions are also degenerating, resulting in poor intestinal motility. In winter, the weather is dry. The elderly should have insufficient water intake, less food intake, unbalanced food mix, long-term vegetarian diet, and no oil intake. Those will lead to difficulty in defecation.
People with mild constipation can adjust their eating habits everyday. For example, they can eat more high-fibre foods. Or follow the “Mediterranean diet” and eat more vegetables, fruits, fish and other white meat, whole grains, and dried fruits. Add oil, such as olive oil. Patients with severe constipation should seek medical attention in time. Under the guidance of a doctor, one could use drugs to ease and laxatives to promote gastrointestinal motility. And remember not to take laxatives indiscriminately.
Smoking, alcohol abuse, decreased activity, decreased light exposure, and decreased calcium and vitamin D intake are significant causes of osteoporosis in the elderly. In addition, the road is slippery in winter, and the elderly wear more clothes, making it difficult to move. At this time, it is easy to fall, which dramatically increases the probability of fracture.
Therefore, it is crucial to treat osteoporosis and prevent falls. Even in winter, the elderly should do proper exercise choose sunny weather to go out for exercise; adequate light and adequate training can help prevent osteoporosis. For the elderly who have developed osteoporosis, calcium tablets and vitamin D should be taken under the guidance of a doctor. At the same time, the elderly should pay attention to a balanced diet. They could eat more calcium-containing foods, such as dairy products, soy products, etc., Also, they can eat more protein-rich foods and avoid smoking and alcohol.
Whether indoors or outdoors, be sure to take anti-slip measures. For example, buy non-slip shoes for the elderly and try not to go out on rainy and snowy days. At the same time, the floor of the bathroom at home should be kept dry, and non-slip floor tiles should be laid.
In winter, the temperature is low, especially in the case of strong wind and cooling weather; the cold will stimulate the vasoconstriction of the human body. Therefore it will increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and heat load. Some older people have cardiovascular diseases, while winter increases cerebral haemorrhage and myocardial infarction—chance of an attack. Therefore, the elderly should closely monitor blood pressure etc., not stop the drug without authorization, and adjust the medication under the guidance of a doctor. At the same time, keep yourself warm and add clothes in time.
The cold weather in winter reduces the protective effect of the respiratory tract, and the elderly often suffer from colds. At the same time, the frequent occurrence of smog aggravates the irritation to the respiratory tract. Therefore, the elderly with chronic lung diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis are more prone to acute attacks. Consequently, it is recommended that the elderly quit smoking, avoid going out when the air quality is not good and try to stay away from crowded places. Ventilation should be maintained when indoors. Respiratory infections can also be avoided by vaccinating.
Cold weather stimulates gastric acid secretion and causes vasoconstriction, reduces blood circulation of gastric mucosa, and weakens the self-protection ability of digestive tract mucosa. In addition, in the cold winter, middle-aged and older adults are more likely to take painkillers to relieve soreness, and the ulcers will be more severe. Adopt a mild and digestible diet, and reduce the intake of irritating tobacco, alcohol, spicy, strong tea, coffee and certain drugs.
Low temperature makes the skin blood circulation ability of the human body worse, and various skin problems are prone to occur, especially in the middle-aged and elderly. The secretion of cortical glands and the water retention function of the stratum corneum is reduced, which weakens the skin resistance and improves the sensitivity, causing the skin to be itchy cracked.
The bathwater temperature should not be higher than 40°C; try to shower and avoid high-temperature baths or hot springs to maintain the humidity and moisture of the skin. Apply skin cream after bathing. Wear loose, breathable cotton clothing for intimate clothing; when using an electric heater to keep warm, put a glass of water or use a humidifier to maintain the air humidity.
Diabetes is most likely to recur or aggravate in winter. Because the cold temperature will stimulate the sympathetic nerves, and overeating and exercising less in winter will quickly increase blood sugar. Cold weather can also easily cause the platelets of diabetic patients to aggregate and form thrombus, which increases blood pressure. High, and even increase the incidence of stroke and myocardial infarction. Pay attention to weather changes and add clothes to keep warm in time; exercise regularly to improve the body’s ability to resist cold and disease.
In winter, the biological clock cannot adapt to the changes in the length of days and nights and the reduction of sunshine; The human body leads to disturbance of natural rhythms and endocrine disorders. Those will cause “winter depression” and depression. In particular, the elderly are more likely to be affected by the weather, coupled with the gradual decline of their physiological functions. Their mobility and what they can do are limited. And they are more likely to be depressed due to the influence of the climate. Do outdoor activities during the day as much as possible; get as much sun as possible to improve your spirit; do moderate exercise.