(NAPSI)—While winter, with its cold temperatures and extreme weather, can be an isolating time for many, it can be particularly tough on seniors. When driving conditions deteriorate and roads are slippery, many seniors don’t feel safe enough to venture out of their homes. Others just don’t like the cold and often forgo regular activities and visits with family and friends that involve going outdoors.
However, regular social and cognitive activities are necessary for maintaining optimal health and independence and are often key to fighting through the winter blues. That’s why it can be important for seniors to find innovative ways to maintain a safe, consistent level of activity all year-round. Staying connected and active can contribute to seniors’ well-being and mental sharpness.
The Right Technology
Having access to helpful technology can be beneficial. According to the Administration on Aging, 12 million seniors live alone in the U.S. Fortunately, when armed with the right technology, these seniors don’t have to spend the winter months in isolation.
For example, mobile medical alert services offer seniors the peace of mind many of them need to venture out of their homes. They can come equipped with advanced locating and fall detection technology that adds extra reassurance that help will be there when and if needed.
Additionally, there are mobile response apps that seniors can use to connect to the same emergency call centers offered through traditional and mobile medical alert services. With the added confidence from these technologies, seniors can feel empowered to get out of the house and engage in the activities they love to do, even during the winter months.
The Internet also provides ways to stay connected during the winter. According to The Journals of Gerontology, the Internet has been shown to reduce the probability of depression by 33 percent. Internet-enabled solutions, such as e-mail, social media (e.g., Facebook) and Skype, are all ways to keep in touch. While distance and weather can sometimes get in the way of face-to-face communication, seniors can stay socially engaged and involved through technologies when traveling isn’t an option.
Volunteering And Hobbies
Volunteering can also be a rewarding way for seniors to get involved in their community and meet new people. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, 24 percent of those over the age of 65 in the U.S. perform volunteer work, and they report lower levels of disability and higher levels of well-being.
Additionally, the quiet months of winter can be a good time to take up a new hobby—for example, joining a local bridge club or knitting circle. There are also exercise classes designed for seniors, which is a good way to stay active and social.
For more information on solutions designed to empower seniors and keep them safe, healthy and connected, visit www.philips.to/lifeline.