Environmental wellness is an integral part of any health-centered lifestyle. It’s a combination of the things and people surrounding you daily at home, work and during recreational activities. Elder Care Alliance understands how vital a healthy and safe environment is for older individuals. Here are a few helpful ways to improve your environment to ensure healthy and happy aging.
Reduce Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies impact approximately 81 million people in just the United States. For older adults, seasonal allergies can make it much more challenging to spend time outdoors. As a result, seniors may be more likely to stay indoors and not get sufficient sunlight exposure to support healthy vitamin D levels in their bodies.
You may be able to reduce seasonal allergies and improve environmental wellness by staying indoors on high-wind or high-pollen days. Choose to go outdoors on low-wind days when the pollen count isn’t high. You can also avoid bringing outdoor pollen into your home by brushing off your hair and clothing before entering and removing your shoes at the door.
Get Rid of Harmful Household Chemicals
Many people are surprised to discover that the household cleaners they use every day are full of harmful chemicals. To ensure optimal environmental wellness, it’s wise to eliminate chemical-heavy products and use “greener” and safer products instead.
Take Protective Measures in the Sunshine
While sunlight exposure is essential for vitamin D production and reducing anxiety, too much of it can be harmful. Heat is hazardous for older individuals and should be actively protected against. To safely enjoy outdoor weather, use sunscreen, wear protective clothing and drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration.
Protect Your Body from Extreme Cold
Just as extreme heat can pose a risk of physical danger, extreme cold can also. Before heading out in frigid weather, make sure you’ve dressed appropriately. Ensuring environmental wellness during the coldest season of the year includes dressing in layers, keeping the home or car warm and covering up with warm blankets to stay safe and warm indoors. If you think an older loved one may not be staying warm enough at home, take steps to warm them up with warm drinks and blankets. Check to make sure their thermostat is set to 68⁰F or higher.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air pollution is a severe problem for people of all ages. However, those who spend the most time indoors (including older adults and toddlers) are more susceptible to illness and other problems spurred by breathing poor-quality indoor air all day. Don’t smoke inside your home or let others do so to improve your indoor environmental wellness. Invest in one or more high-quality air filters and put them in the areas of your home where you spend the most time.
Make Your Home Safer
As an older adult, some of your most significant environmental hazards may be trip and fall hazards in and around your home. To make your home safer, consider installing an alarm system so you can call for help if you fall.
These interventions are relatively simple but can go a long way toward ensuring optimal environmental wellness. Give them a try today.