Staying Healthy this Winter 

Jan 25, 2023 | Newsletter, Winter 2023

The wintertime can be a more difficult season for seniors to stay healthy and active. From food access to the cold temperature to socialization access, a variety of factors can make it difficult for seniors to maintain their health.

Since most fresh vegetables and fruits are out of season in the winter months, they can be more expensive and of lower quality than what you can normally get. Consider looking at the supermarket‘s frozen selection for alternatives. Frozen options often contain less sodium than the canned selections you can find. A healthy balanced diet can help maintain your body’s health in order to avoid getting sick this winter.

Staying active and getting some exercise is also important. For seniors, it is especially important to stay warm in cold weather. According to the National Institute on Aging, seniors are at a greater risk for hypothermia than the average person because of changes that happen as the body ages. Older adults can lose their body heat faster than younger people, they are also more vulnerable to changes in body temperature, and they can have a harder time noticing they are getting cold. Remember to dress warmly if you are planning a long walk or a light jog outside.

COVID-19 can also pose a considerable risk concern for seniors. The virus continues to mutate, and the immune system weakens with age. A poor diet coupled with cold weather can also impact your immune system. Therefore, it is important for seniors to remain vigilant about COVID and potential infection. Even vaccinated seniors can still develop complications. You can improve your chances by staying up to date with the latest COVID-19 boosters.

To learn more about staying healthy this winter, speak with a Community Resource Specialist at (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Lung Cancer Screening

Medicare Part B covers lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) if the individual meets all the following criteria:

  • Aged 55 to 77
  • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Current smoker or quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • Tobacco smoking history averaging one pack per day for 20 years (“20 pack-years”)
  • An order from a doctor or healthcare provider

Take advantage of these preventative services offered by Medicare by asking for them for yourself or your loved one. In this way, older adults can reduce their risk of developing substance abuse disorders or mitigate its effects to maintain healthier lifestyles.

References

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, July). Substance use in older adults drugfacts. Substance Use in Older Adults DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov)
  2. gov. (n.d.). Preventive & screening services. preventive services (medicare.gov)

 

This project was supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $94,686 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.