Our Parents
Senior Health
Senior Living Options
Finances & Legal
Products for Seniors
About Us
A pink banner with the OurParents logo

5 Winter Health Tips for Seniors

Written by OurParents Staff
 about the author
2 minute readLast updated April 10, 2023

Winter is just around the corner and as the temperatures drop, it can become more challenging to stay healthy and active. Seniors can be especially prone to the “winter blues,” so it’s more important than ever to be mindful of your parent’s habits and mood during the colder months. Exercise is a proven mood-booster, and eating healthy can help your parent feel strong enough to fight off those winter colds. Below are five easy ways to help your parent stay healthy during the winter months.

Let our care assessment guide you

Our free tool provides options, advice, and next steps based on your unique situation.

Keep eating healthy

During the winter months, it can be more challenging to maintain a healthy diet. Since many produce items are “out of season” during the winter, their prices can increase substantially. Take this opportunity to check out your parent’s store’s selection of frozen veggies, which often contain less sodium than their canned counterparts. Be sure to help your parent stock up on winter fruits and vegetables, like pomegranates, cranberries, citrus fruits, grapes, and root vegetables. It’s also important for your parent to eat to support their immune system. This includes taking vitamins (especially Vitamin C) and eating foods rich in zinc, such as fish, oysters, poultry, and eggs.

Exercise outdoors, smartly

If your parent is able-bodied and has their doctor’s okay to exercise, don’t let colder weather keep them from enjoying their favorite outdoor activities. Be sure they dress in layers so that they can remove articles of clothing as needed. Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses with UV protection, and protection from windburn as well. Be smart about checking the weather forecast and make sure your parent wears the proper footwear for the season.

Let our care assessment guide you

Our free tool provides options, advice, and next steps based on your unique situation.

Let the sunshine in

Sunshine, and the vitamin D it imparts, is key in battling the winter blues. Try your best to encourage your parent to get fresh air and some natural light every day, even if it’s just to walk the dog or check the mail. If it’s particularly cold, open their blinds and spend some time sitting with them by the window. Don’t underestimate the value of light and sunshine in helping with your parent’s energy level and their overall winter attitude.

Keep in touch

Seniors and caregivers often face an increasing sense of isolation. Proactively fight the winter blues by helping your parent keep in touch with friends and family members during the colder months. Make appointments to meet for coffee, take a bundled-up walk, or set aside time for a longer phone call with friends on a regular basis. Take special care of others you know who are primarily homebound, and may be feeling lonely or in need of help running errands. Helping others is an excellent way to feel connected.

Talk with a Senior Care Advisor

Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.

Winter-proof your home

As your parent ages, it gets increasingly difficult to maintain body temperature, and with a more limited budget, it may be tempting to scrimp on the heating bill. Unfortunately, hypothermia is a very real concern for seniors. An easy way to ensure your parent stays warm enough is to set their thermostat to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit (many utility companies offer assistance to seniors on fixed incomes during the winter months on their bills). It’s always a great idea to have working carbon monoxide detectors in the home, especially if your parent uses space heaters.
With a little planning and determination, winter can be truly enjoyed, rather than simply endured. Prioritize your parent’s health and well-being, body and mind, and they can make the most of the cold season. If your parent lives at home, an in-home caregiver may be able to help them prioritize their health during these winter months.


Meet the Author
OurParents Staff

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom (of which OurParents is a trademark) and the reader.  Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site.  Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.