7 Steps to Healthy Aging, Happy Aging


By Diana Rodriguez

Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a slew of medical conditions or poor quality of life.  Getting

older involves change, both negative and positive, but you can enjoy aging if you understand what’s going on with your body and take steps to maintain your health.  Many different things happen to your body as you age.  Your skin, bones, and even brain may start to behave differently.  Don’t let the changes that come with old age catch you by surprise.

Here are some of the common ones:

YOUR BONES.  Bones can become thinner and more brittle in old age, especially in women, sometimes resulting in the fragile bone condition called osteoporosis.  Thinning bones and decreasing bone mass can put you at risk for falls that can easily result in broken bones.  Be sure to talk with your physician about what you can do to prevent osteoporosis and falls.

YOUR HEART.  While a healthy diet and regular exercise can keep your heart healthy, it may become slightly enlarged, your heart rate may lower, and the walls of the heart may thicken.

YOUR BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEM.  Getting older can cause changes in your reflexes and even your senses.  While dementia is not a normal consequence of old age, it is common for people to experience some slight forgetfulness as they get older.  Cells in the brain and nerves can be damaged by the formation of plaques and tangles, abnormalities that could eventually lead to dementia.

YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.  As you age, your digestive tract becomes more firm and rigid, and doesn’t contract as often.  This change can lead to problems such as constipation, stomach pain, and feelings of nausea; a better diet can help.

YOUR SENSES.  You may notice that your vision and hearing aren’t quite as sharp as they once were.  You may start to lose your sense of taste – flavors may not seem as distinct to you.  Your senses of smell and touch may also weaken.  Your body is taking longer to react and needs more to stimulat e  it.

YOUR TEETH.  The tough enamel that protects your teeth from decay can start to wear away over the years, leaving you susceptible to cavities.  Gum disease is also a concern for older adults.  Good dental hygiene can protect our teeth and gums.  Dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many medications that seniors take, may also be a problem.

YOUR SKIN.  With old age, your skin loses its elasticity and may start to sag and wrinkle.  However, the more you protected your skin from sun damage and smoking when you were younger, the better your skin will look as you get older.  Start protecting your skin now to prevent further damage, as well as skin cancer.

YOUR SEX LIFE.  After menopause, when menstruation stops, many women experience physical changes like a loss of vaginal lubrication.  Men may experience erectile dysfunction.  Fortunately, both problems can be easily treated.

Many bodily changes are a natural part of aging, but they don’t have to slow you down.  What’s more, there’s a lot you can do to protect your body and keep it as healthy as possible.

Here are some healthy aging tips that are good advice at any stage of life:

Stay physically active with regular exercise.

Stay socially active with friends and family and within your community.

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet – dump the junk food in favor of fiber-rich, low-fat, and low-cholesterol eating.

Don’t neglect yourself: Regular check-ups with your doctor, dentist, and optometrist are even more important now.

Take all medications as directed by your doctor.

Limit alcohol consumption and cut out smoking

Get the sleep that your body needs.

Finally, taking care of your physical self is vital, but it’s important that you tend to your emotional health as well.  Reap the rewards of your long life, and enjoy each and every day.  Now is the time to savor good health and Happiness.

5 great Reasons to See a Geriatrician


By Chris Iliades, MD

Geriatricians are specialists in senior health, trained in caring for an aging body.  Their knowledge can help keep you happy and healthy throughout your golden years.

As the baby boomer generation enters its senior years, one in five Americans will be over 65.  In fact, seniors over age 85 are the fastest-growing segment of the population.  If you or any of your loved ones are over 65, being treated by a geriatrician can make all the difference.  Geriatricians are primary care doctors who have had additional training in the health care needs of older people.

Seniors have many special medical needs, from addressing the natural aging that goes on within the body to managing multiple medical problems and ensuring social support.  Geriatricians have a deeper understanding of how these issues might affect a senior’s ability to function day to day and how the conditions should be treated.

How a Geriatrician Can Benefit Your Life

Geriatricians are trained to recognize how illness in an elderly person is different from illness in a younger person.  They know the importance of maintaining independent living and social support as well as of using a holistic approach that emphasizes healthy aging and preventive care.

Here’s a look at how a geriatrician approaches some of the more serious senior health issues:

FRAILTY.  Frailty is an inevitable part of aging, but it may affect an elderly person’s ability to function independently at different times and in different ways, such as making them more susceptible to falls and needing more supervision and assistance.  A geriatrician can help anticipate problems and put a care plan in place.

MULTIPLE MEDICAL PROBLEMS. Many seniors manage multiple medical conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and neurological conditions.  A geriatrician has special training in how these conditions interact in seniors.

MENTAL DECLINE. Some loss of cognitive ability is an inevitable part of aging, but certain symptoms may indicate common conditions such as depression or ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE.  Geriatricians are trained to know the difference between the signs of normal aging and those of more serious illness.  They can also provide the appropriate treatment for the condition.

CAREGIVING ADVICE. Being a caregiver for someone with senior health issues can be confusing, stressful, and exhausting.  Seniors may need help with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, or eating.  A geriatrician can help with finding the right outside assistance and support from professions such as a care manager of a home aide.

Your Healthy-Aging Geriatric Team

Because seniors have complicated health issues, one of the most important services a geriatric specialist provides is to coordinate care.  Multiple problems often require a team approach.  A geriatric specialist’s team may include:

A geriatric nurse

A social worker

Physical and occupational therapists

A registered dietitian or a certified diabetes educator

A pharmacist

A geriatric psychiatrist

Finding A Geriatrician

According to the American Geriatric Society, there are only about 9,000 certified geriatricians in the United States.  As a result, locating a geriatrician who is taking on new patients can sometimes be difficult, as there is such a growing need. 

If you think seeing a geriatrician would benefit you or a loved one, ask your current primary care doctor to help with a referral.

Community Home Care is a family owned and operated health care agency.  Contact us for a complimentary in-home assessment to help determine the best care for you or your loved one.  We offer a wide range of services customized to meet each  individual’s specific needs.  or 781-569-4970

7 Flu Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Winter Weather Image

By Mario Sollitto

Myths about the flu are everywhere.  Here are some common myths, as well as facts about the flu:

Flu Myth #1:  Getting a flu vaccine can give you the flu.

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Disease, there is no way that the flu vaccine can give you the flu because injected flu vaccines only contain dead virus, and a dead virus can’t infect you. People mistake the side effects of the vaccine for flu.  While side effects to the vaccine these days tend to be a sore arm, in the past, side effects often felt like mild symptoms of the flu.  Also, flu season coincides  with a time of year when bugs causing colds and other respiratory illnesses are in the air.  It is possible to get the vaccine and then, within a few days, get sick with an unrelated cold virus.

Flu Myth #2:  There is no treatment for the flu:

Two antiviral drugs are highly effective against the flu: Tamiflu, in pill form, and Relenza, which is inhaled.  Neither one cures the flu.  But they can reduce the amount of time you’re sick by one or two days and make you less contagious to others.  It is best to take the drugs within 48 hours of your first flu symptoms.

Flu Myth #3:  Antibiotics can fight the flu:

Antibiotics only fight bacterial infections.  Flu is a virus, not bacteria.  So antibiotics have no effect on any kind of flu.

Flu Myth #4:  If you get the flu, you can’t get it again during that flu season.

You can get the flu more than once a year.  Flu infection can happen from more than one strain of virus.  There’s usually Type A and Type B influenza in circulation and both can cause the flu.  It’s possible that you could get infected with one type and then the other.

Flu Myth #5:  If you  are young and healthy, you don’t need to worry about getting the vaccine.

The CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months old get the flu vaccine.  Healthy adults are susceptible to the flu as anyone else.  If you have an elderly parent at home, your failure to get yourself vaccinated could endanger them.

Flu Myth #6:  Cold weather causes the flu.

Going outside in the winter hatless does not increase your risk of flu.  Some people think there is a connection because flu season coincides with colder months, but there isn’t.  Flu season is the same throughout the whole country: even in warm climates like Florida.  Flu season has to do with the natural cycle of the virus.

Flu Myth #7:  If you haven’t gotten a flu shot by November, there’s no point in getting vaccinated.

The flu often doesn’t hit its peak until February or sometimes as late as March.  So no matter the month, if you haven’t had your flu vaccine yet, go get it.  You could spare yourself and your family a lot of misery.

How to prevent spreading the flu

The flu is contagious.  That means it spreads from person to person, often through the air.  You can pass on the infection before you feel sick.  You are contagious for several days after you get sick.  You can catch the flu when someone near you coughs or sneezes, or if you touch something the virus is on, like a phone or doorknob.

To maintain your own health, the person who you care for and other family members, here are some tips:

Clean your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub after you touch the sick person, or handle used tissues or laundry.

Throw away tissues and other disposable items used by the sick person in the trash.  Wash your hands after touching used tissues and similar waste.

Talk with your health care provider about taking antiviral medication to prevent you from getting the flu.

Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, doorknobs, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.

Do not share eating utensils, dishes or cups with a sick person.  These items do not need to be cleaned separately, buy they should not be shared without washing thoroughly first.

Wash linens by using a household  laundry soap and tumble dry on a hot setting.  Avoid “hugging” laundry prior to washing it to prevent contaminating yourself.

Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub right after handling dirty laundry.

How Much Sleep Do Seniors Need?



By Diana Rodriques

Getting enough sleep is important for everyone, but it’s especially vital for seniors. Follow these steps to a better night’s rest.


Many seniors deal with a number of health problems related to aging – one in particular is not getting enough healthy sleep. It’s not the advancing of age per se that keeps seniors from a good night’s rest, but various sleep disorders or sleep disturbances that often come with age. As we get older, our sleep patterns change and, for starters, seniors do not spend as much time in deep sleep as younger people do. Common symptoms of sleep disorders are:


  • Having trouble falling asleep
  • Waking up very early in the morning
  • Inability to tell night from day
  • Frequent waking at night




Many seniors have problems sleeping because of health conditions – as well as their associated symptoms and medications. Some common senior health issues that can prevent you from getting healthy sleep include:


  • Side effects of prescription medications
  • Chronic pain, often from health conditions like arthritis
  • Depression
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Snoring
  • Alzheimer’s disease or a neurological problem
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Frequent urination during the night




It’s also possible that biological changes in seniors contribute to sleep disorders. One theory is that seniors produce and release less of the hormone melatonin that helps people sleep.


Another problem is a shifting circadian rhythm, which synchronizes various functions of the body, including sleep. This shift makes older people more tired earlier in the evening, so they go to bed earlier and get up a lot earlier, too.


Many seniors also have problems with insomnia, which is often linked to an underlying medical or psychological problem. Not getting healthy sleep can impact a senior’s overall health and wellness, and even impair cognitive functioning.




Seniors don’t need as much sleep as younger people do, no more than seven to eight hours of sleep. But that sleep often comes broken up throughout the day rather in one big stretch at night. Here are some suggestions to battle sleep disorders and get a full night of restful, healthy sleep:


  • GET TREATMENT FOR ANY MEDICAL PROBLEMS. If you’re experiencing depression, painful arthritis, or bladder problems that force you to get up and go to the bathroom frequently at night, seek medical attention to get these conditions under control.
  • DON’T JUST LIE IN BED. Try to go to sleep at bedtime, but if you’re still awake after 20 minutes, get out of bed. Do something quiet and relaxing – read, listen to music, or take a hot shower or bath.
  • MAKE LIFESTYLE CHANGES. Adjustments may include eliminating caffeine and not eating a huge meal or a big snack before bedtime. It’s also important for you to exercise each day – make it early in the day rather than in the late afternoon or evening, and definitely not before bedtime.
  • GET INTO A GOOD SLEEP ROUTINE. Set a regular time to wake up each morning and go to bed each night to retrain your body for healthy sleep. Try skipping afternoon naps. And other than intimacy, think of your bedroom as just a place for sleeping and rest.


Don’t accept fatigue and poor sleep as part of getting older. Try these tips for healthy sleep, and talk to your doctor if you still can’t find a way to sleep through the night.



COMMUNITY HOME CARE is a family owned and operated health care agency. Contact us for a complimentary in-home assessment to help determine the best care for you or a

loved one. or 781-569-4970

10 Warning Signs Your Family Member Needs Help

elder care MA home health care south shore MA

elder care MA home health care south shore MA

The Council on Aging offers these warning signs that your elderly relative needs help:


  1. Poor eating habits resulting in a decrease in weight, no appetite or missed meals.
  2. Neglected hygiene: wearing dirty clothes, body odor, neglected nails and teeth.
  3. Neglected home that is not as clean or sanitary as you remember growing up.
  4. Inappropriate behavior by acting loud, quiet, paranoid or making phone calls at all hours.
  5. Change in relationship patterns that friends or neighbors have noticed.
  6. Burns or injuries resulting from weakness, forgetfulness or misuse of alcohol or meds.
  7. Decreased participation in activities such as attending the senior center, book club or church.
  8. Scorched pots and pans, showing forgetfulness for dinner cooking on the stove.
  9. Unopened mail, newspaper piles and missed appointments.
  • Mishandled finances such as losing money, paying bills twice or hiding money.


If you notice any of these signs when you visit your parents or grandparents, it is time to decide as a family the best plan of care.


COMMUNITY HOME CARE, a family owned and operated homecare agency, can provide a no cost/no obligation home visit and family meeting to help determine the best care for your loved one. We offer a wide range of services customized to meet each client’s needs. or 781-569-4970

5 Winter Hazards and how Seniors Can Avoid Them

elder care MA home health care south shore MA

elder care MA home health care south shore MA

By Jeff Anderson (A Place for Mom)


  1. SNOW, COLD and ICE – The most obvious perils of winter are from the weather itself:

FALLS: Slips on ice are a major risk for seniors in winter, so it’s important to wear shoes with appropriate traction.


DRIVING: Snow and ice can present major dangers on the road. Seniors should avoid driving when road conditions are at their worst due to snow and ice, and those who do drive should be prepared for the conditions. Drive slowly. Make sure snow-tires are installed when appropriate, and keep blankets and food in the car should the vehicle be stranded or disabled.


HYPOTHERMIA and FROSTBITE: Cold temperatures can cause hypothermia and frostbite. According to Centers for Disease Control, more than half of hypothermia deaths are among seniors. Older adults who do venture outside in cold weather should make sure to dress warmly. Among some vulnerable seniors, hypothermia can even occur indoors if the air temperature in the home isn’t warm enough, so seniors should keep their thermostats above 65 degrees, and seek assistance if they lose heating in an emergency.



The very hazards that we outlined above can lead to seniors becoming socially isolated. If our older loved one has been spending a lot of time alone at home due to inclement weather, try to visit and spend extra time there. You can also arrange transportation to the local senior center, your loved one’s place of worship and to other places where opportunities to socialize are available.



With winter comes the flu, which seniors are especially susceptible to developing because of weakened immune systems. The flu causes a significant number of fatalities among seniors each year, and it can also lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia. Seniors should make every reasonable effort to get vaccinated early in the flu season.



Many people experience a decrease in mood and energy during the winter, which is caused by decreased daytime light in winter. This phenomenon is known as “seasonal affective disorder” or “SAD”. Those who live in northern states (where daytime is shorter) are at highest risk. Open curtains and blinds during winter to let natural lighting in. Light therapy, using full-spectrum lights available at many box stores, can also be used to prevent or alleviate the wintertime blues. Seniors experiencing depression should talk to their doctors.



Seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia sometimes experience sundowners syndrome, which manifests itself as increased memory loss, confusion, agitation, and even anger during the evening hours. Sundowning is often exacerbated during the low-light conditions of winter, because the season’s low light can disrupt our body’s internal day/night clock(known as circadian rhythms).

COMMUNITY HOME CARE, a family owned and operated homecare agency, can provide a no cost/no obligation home visit and family meeting to help determine if your loved one requires in-home care. We offer a full range of services including transportation customized to meet each individual’s needs. or 781-569-4970

Dental Care


elder care MA home health care south shore MA

elder care MA home health care south shore MA

(Alzheimer’s Association)


As Alzheimer’s progresses, the person with dementia may forget how to brush his or her teeth or forget why it’s important. As a caregiver, you may have to assist or take a more hand-on-approach. Proper oral care is necessary to prevent eating difficulties, digestive problems and infections.



In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, dental care focuses on prevention. Getting check-ups and cleaning and flossing teeth regularly can prevent the need for extensive procedures later on, when the person with dementia may be less able to tolerate them.


During the middle and late stages of Alzheimer’s, oral health may become more challenging. The person may forget what to do with toothpaste or how to rinse, or may be resistant to assistance from others. Try these tips:


  1. Provide short, simple instructions. Explain dental care by breaking directions into steps. “Brush your teeth” by itself may be too vague. Instead, walk the person through the process. Say “hold your toothbrush.” Then, “brush your teeth.”
  2. Use a “watch me” technique. Hold a toothbrush and show the person how to brush his or her teeth. Or, put your hand over the person’s hand, gently guiding the brush. If the person seems agitated or uncooperative, postpone brushing until later in the day.
  3. Keep the teeth and mouth clean. Brush the person’s teeth at least twice a day, with the last brushing after the evening meal and any nighttime liquid medication. Allow plenty of time and find a comfortable position if you must do the brushing yourself. Gently place the toothbrush in the person’s mouth at a 45 degree angle so you massage gum tissue as you clean the teeth.


If the person wears dentures, rinse them with plain water after meals and brush them daily to remove food particles. Each night, remove them and soak in a cleanser or mouthwash. Then, use a soft toothbrush or moistened gauze pad to clean the gums, tongue and other soft mouth tissues.


  1. Try different types of toothbrushes. You may find that a soft bristled children’s toothbrush works better than a hand bristled adult’s brush. Or that a long handled or angled brush is easier to use than a standard toothbrush. Experiment until you find the best choice. Be aware that electric dental appliances may confuse a person with Alzheimer’s.
  2. Floss regularly. Most dentists recommend flossing daily. If using floss is distressing to the person with Alzheimer’s, try using a “proxabrush” to clean between teeth instead.
  3. Be aware of potential mouth pain. Investigate any signs of mouth discomfort during mealtime. Refusing to eat or strained facial expressions while eating my indicate mouth pain or dentures that don’t fit properly.



  1. Find the right dentist. Contact your local dental society to find the names of professionals who have experience working with people with dementia or with elderly patients.
  2. Coordinate care. Provide the dentist with a list of all health care providers who are caring for the person with dementia, as well as a list of all medications. Certain medications can contribute to dry mouth and other oral health issues.
  3. Keep up with regular dental visits for as long as possible. This will help prevent tooth decay, gum problems, pain and infection.




COMMUNITY HOME CARE provides a full range of in-home services as well as transportation. Contact us at or 781-569-4970


Traveling with Dementia

home health care south shore, MA

(Alzheimer’s Association)

If a person has Alzheimer’s or other dementia, it doesn’t mean he or she can no longer participate in meaningful activities such as travel; but it does require planning to ensure safety and enjoyment for everyone.



Whether taking a short trip to see friends and family or traveling a far distance for vacation, it’s important to consider the difficulties and benefits of travel for a person with dementia. In the early stages of dementia, a person may still enjoy traveling. As the disease progresses, travel may become too overwhelming. When you take into account the needs, abilities, safety and preferences of the person with dementia, what’s the best mode of travel? Consider the following:


  1. Go with the option that provides the most comfort and the least anxiety.
  2. Stick with the familiar. Travel to known destinations that involve as few changes in daily routine as possible. Try to visit places that were familiar before the onset of dementia.
  3. Keep in mind that there may come a time when traveling is too disorienting or stressful for the person with dementia.



  1. Changes in environment can trigger wandering. Even for a person in the early stages, new environments may be more difficult to navigate. Keep the person safe by taking precautions, such as enrolling in MedicAlert, Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return, Comfort Zone or Comfort Zone Check-In.
  2. Have a bag of essentials with you at all times that includes medications, your travel itinerary, a comfortable change of clothes, water, snacks and activities.
  3. Pack necessary medications, up-to-date medical information, a list of emergency contacts and photocopies of important legal documents.
  4. Create an itinerary that includes details about each destination. Give copies to emergency contacts at home. Keep a copy of your itinerary with you at all times.
  5. If you will be staying in a hotel, inform the staff ahead of time of your specific needs so they can be prepared to assist you.
  6. Travel during the time of day that is best for the person with dementia.



  1. Doctors’ names and contact information.
  2. A list of current medications and dosages.
  3. Phone numbers and addresses of the local police and fire departments, hospitals and poison control.
  4. A list of food or drug allergies
  5. Copies of legal papers (living will advanced directives, power of attorney, etc.
  6. Names and contact information of friends and family members to call in case of an emergency.
  7. Insurance information (policy number, member name).



Traveling in airports requires plenty of focus and attention. At times, the level of activity can be distracting, overwhelming or difficult to understand for someone with dementia. If you are traveling by plane, keep the following in mind:

  1. Avoid scheduling flights that require tight connections. Ask about airport escort services that can help you get from place to place.
  2. Inform the airline and airport medical service department ahead of time of your needs to make sure they can help you. Most airlines will work with you to accommodate special needs.
  3. If appropriate, tell airport employees, screeners and in-flight crew members that you are traveling with someone who has dementia.
  4. Even if walking is not difficult, consider requesting a wheelchair so that an airport employee is assigned to help you get from place to place.
  5. Allow for extra time.



Understanding the Alzheimer’s Journey: Tips for Creating Moments of Joy

Elder Care, South Shore, MA

Elder Care, South Shore, MA

 as stated by Jolene Brackey in her book Creating Moments of Joy


  • routine – A routine is very important for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s. If you have a loved one with this disease, make a point to write down who they are. Our bodies remember routine, so when an Alzheimer’s sufferer feels something they’re used to, their body relaxes. For example, if they always wake up, have a cup of tea, and then get dressed, write it down so it can continue regardless of who does the care giving. Routines can let caregivers relax when situations get stressful.


  • visits – When visiting with friends of family members who suffer with Alzheimer’s, recognize that open-ended questions can be very stressful. Asking questions that require recall, like “What did you do today?” or “How are you doing?” can put your loved one in a stressful position when they can’t remember.


Additionally, during visits your loved one may ask you questions that don’t have an easy answer. For example, your friend or family member might ask, “Where are my kids?” Responding with, “Sally lives in Alabama and Joe is in Connecticut,” can cause a lot of anxiety, because your loved one may not remember that they’ve grown up and moved. Instead respond with, “They’re at a friend’s house.” Even if this is not true, it will make your loved one feel better and reduce their stress level. It is very important to hear them and respond in their truth.


  • recognition – One of the toughest parts of dealing with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s is their failure to recognize friends and family members. Alzheimer’s sufferers lose more and more short-term memory, but they keep getting younger in their mind. They may see themselves as being only 20 or 30 years old. This may be why individuals with dementia may not recognize their husband or adult child. Jolene Brackey recommends starting out by talking to them from outside the room. They will know your voice before they can identify your face. They still remember, but they don’t recognize.


  • leaving – Similarly, when your loved one with Alzheimer’s asks to go home, the home they’re asking for is likely one from the past. If this situation comes up, the best thing to do is delay and suggest ways to keep them where they are. Tell them you can’t take them home yet because it’s time for breakfast. If they bring it up later, say that you just made coffee. If it comes up again, tell them they need to get dressed first.


Sometimes our loved one my want to leave for other reasons, like going to work. In this scenario, come up with reasons why they can’t do what they want to do. For example, if they say they have to go to work, tell them it’s Saturday. If they used to be a farmer and want to go out to the field, tell them it rained two inches last night.


Wrap-up – Ultimately, there are many ways to create moments of joy for our loved ones. Jolene also shared that music can really help calm situations. If your friend or family member seems to have had a hard day, think back to ways they used to make you feel better in the past. Most of the time, the way they cared for you is the way you can care for them.



If you would like more information about Community Home Care services, please call 617-462-9384 or email We provide a vast array of services to seniors in Massachusetts including Home Health Aides, 24 Hour Care, Transportation, Respite Care and Alzheimer’s Care.



How to Protect Elders From Frigid Winter Weather

Home Health Care MA Cold

Home Health Care MA Cold


Anne-Marie Botek

 Chilling temperatures and treacherous snow and ice can terrorize the elderly and their caregivers during the winter months.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to help keep seniors safe during the frigid season approaches:


  1. Hypothermia- Each year, half of Americans who die from hypothermia are at least 65 years ol The elderly are particularly susceptible to becoming dangerously chilled because they have less fat, slower circulation and a more sluggish metabolism. A senior can even become hypothermic while indoors, so the thermostat should never be set below 65 degrees for a person who is 75 or older. Make sure that an elderly person is warmly dressed when inside the house as well as outside.
  2. Dehydration- Seniors are especially prone to becoming dehydrated simply because they eat and drink less than younger people, thus they consume less water. In general, people also feel less thirsty during the winter and so are more prone to not drinking enough as they should. Make sure your elderly loved one is drinking consistent.
  3. Ice and snow- Sidewalks slick with ice and snow pose a serious falling hazard for an elderly person. Make sure that the porch, driveway, sidewalk, etc. of the senior has been thoroughly cleaned. Try not to let them do it themselves-bring a shovel or hire an outside service. To maximize a senior’s stability, be sure that they have rubber-soled shoes and new treads on their walker or cane.
  4. Disaster kit- Winter storms can be fierce enough to knock down power lines and forcibly confine seniors to their It is essential to make sure a senior is equipped with a disaster kit to help them get through these times. Each kit should include enough food and water for several days (at least 3 gallons of water per person per day), a few days-worth of medication for the senior, a flashlight, a weather radio, extra batteries, and first-aid essentials.
  5. Space heaters- While they can provide an elderly person with some much-needed warmth during the colder months, precautions need to be taken so these sources of heat don’t become health If the heater is gas powered, make sure the senior has a fully-functional carbon monoxide detector. If the heater is electric, make sure the cords aren’t damaged or fraying.Keep all heaters away from flammable materials such as cloth and paper and make sure the smoke detector is working properly.
  6. Clothing- Mittens, scarves, sweaters, hats, and coats are a few of the must-have articles of clothing for seniors living in colder climates. Even when an elderly person is indoors, they should be dressed in warm layers so they can take clothes off if they are too hot, or put more on if they are too cold.

If you would like nore information about Community Home Care’s services, please call 617-462-9384 or email us at We provide a vast array of services to seniors in Massachusetts including Home Health Aides, 24 Hour Care, Transportation, Respite Care, Alzheimer’s Care and Therapy Animal Visits.

Community Home Care is a full service home care agency. We provide home health aides, homemakers, companions, overnight care, case management, caregiver respite, transportation and more.
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