Beating The Winter Blues - Austenwood Nursing Home

Winter can be a wonderful time for many. The change in seasons can prompt moments of self-care – such as slowing down and cosying up – but the winter weather can bring a unique set of challenges, especially for older people. 

Here at Austenwood Care Home, we are committed to providing a nurturing and uplifting environment for our residents, especially during the winter months.

The Impact of Winter on Elderly Well-being

Many elderly people report experiencing heightened joint pain and stiffness during winter which can make movement more challenging. The cold weather can exacerbate arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, potentially limiting mobility and affecting overall well-being.

We understand the importance of keeping residents moving for their overall health but also to combat this potential winter soreness. Due to this, we partner with local specialists to encourage residents with fun, engaging activities tailored to their physical abilities.

In addition to physical strains, the winter weather can profoundly affect our moods and mental health, particularly in older people who are often already susceptible to feelings of isolation and low mood. 

Encouraging and reminding residents that social interaction can improve their mood and help them feel connected and valued is a great way to help dampen the effects that less sunlight and cold temperatures can have.

This doesn’t need to be limited to people inside the home either, regular visits from and planned activities with loved ones can further improve good moods, helping residents feel cherished. If in-person visits are not possible, supporting them to take video calls so they can spend quality time with their family and friends can be a great way to keep them feeling connected.

Planning stimulating activities such as crafts, games and storytelling sessions can also help to not only promote socialisation but also increase mental stimulation, helping residents feel fulfilled and energised. The home is always full of live music, sing-songs and the smell of baking!

Food and Nutrition

Ensuring that residents maintain a nutritious and well-balanced diet becomes a crucial aspect of their well-being during the winter months.

Due to Winter’s increased likelihood of illnesses such as colds and flu, a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can support a robust immune system and improve energy levels.

A combination of less sunlight and mobility issues stopping them from getting outside can leave elderly people with a lack of vitamin D so foods such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products and eggs can help address this seasonal nutrient need. Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption which in turn supports bone health, something that we should all be aware of as we age.

Good nutrition can also help with maintaining a healthy weight. Excessive body weight can be detrimental to older people as their bodies live with years of wear and tear. A balanced diet can help manage weight by providing essential nutrients without excessive calories and can be even more important during the winter months when reduced physical activity can affect calorie expenditure.

Meal times can also provide a great opportunity to get everyone around the table and contribute to the feeling of togetherness, plus who doesn’t feel better after a meal of warm winter favourites amongst friends?

At Austenwood, we pride ourselves on taking the individual needs of our residents and building an environment in which they can thrive, no matter the weather.

If you would like to know more about life at Austenwood, or would like to speak to someone from our friendly team, please call 01753 890134 or drop by for a chat.