Great Weather – Great Health for Seniors

April 30, 2018

Spring has sprung here at The Saybrook at Haddam with warm weather and the appearance of countless buds and flowers.  It is a welcomed time of the year that lifts our spirits and improves moods – and perhaps even affects our health.   While residents and staff are all enjoying this new season, we thought it was interesting that experts have found a real, provable connection between weather and health.  We wanted to share some advice to help seniors avoid turning a nice day into an uncomfortable one.

Scientists do believe that some folks coping with arthritis pain may really “predict” bad weather when they have flare-ups. To minimize this, seniors are encouraged to hydrate sufficiently, dress warmly, supplement with Vitamin D and fish oil, soak in warm baths, and maintain a healthy diet.  We have hydration stations throughout The Saybrook at Haddam, so residents can readily take a rest and have a drink.  We also serve plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods that help manage many different conditions, including arthritis.

Others who suffer from migraines may notice increased discomfort when there is a drop in barometric pressure (before a storm) or an increase in seasonal allergies.  They are encouraged to take migraine medicine at the first sign of a headache – and perhaps even tap into today’s technology by connecting filtered earplugs with an app that sends an alert whenever there’s a drop in barometric pressure.

More time outdoors in the nice weather may lead to an increase in the chance of a fall from uneven pavement, sticks or debris on pathways, or slick walkways from misty rain.  Wearing sturdy shoes with good traction is essential, as is making sure walkways are clear.  We appreciate the hard work of our maintenance and grounds keeping team that keeps our entire community in such great (and safe) shape.

When it’s hot outside, some seniors may be at risk of heatstroke, which happens when the heart strains to produce sweat needed to cool the body.  So, people with heart conditions should be extra cautious.  Additionally, on humid days, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other lung diseases may notice an increase in symptoms such as shortness of breath, respiratory infections or wheezing.

Of course, spring is notorious for those bothered by asthma and allergies.  Tree and grass pollen, high humidity, high winds, cold temperatures and other sudden weather changes can also worsen symptoms. In severe cases, seniors are encouraged to work with an allergist to identify triggers and develop a customized treatment plan. Residents can always start by talking with the wellness team at The Saybrook at Haddam.

In essence, paying attention to your body and health all year long will help you manage illness, pain or allergies anytime of the year – so you can really enjoy those great weather days.  At The Saybrook at Haddam, we do all we can to support your wellness goals and keep you healthy to do just that.  To us, it’s all part of gracious retirement living!

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