Many of us in Canada try to just survive the winter, but why not thrive this winter instead?

Living in Canada, you know that winters can be long, cold and bring lots of snow and ice. For the average person, getting through this season can be a challenge but for many seniors it can be particularly difficult. What we know for sure is:

  1. Winter will bring snow and ice! 
  2. Winters here in Ottawa can last at least four months 
  3. Winter will be back every year! 

If you’re a senior who plans to hibernate to survive this, that could be four months of isolation. Four months of no socialization, four months of reheated meals, and four months of deconditioning on your body. 

Winter shouldn’t just be just about survival; it should be about thriving and enjoying these four months just as much as any other time of the year. Here are five ways seniors can thrive this winter.

1. Dress for the weather. The saying goes “there is no such thing as bad weather, just a bad outfit”. Some essential for heading out on any day in the winter are a good pair of waterproof winter boots and a warm, waterproof coat. Some other essentials that will make outdoors more bearable include warm natural fiber socks (such as wool), layers that can be removed if too hot, metal grips for bottoms of shoes and reflective gear (especially for night time).

2. Get social.  Winter months drastically increase the risk of social isolation in seniors. Some ways to be social without leaving the house include chatting with friends and family through the phone or computer; attending virtual meet ups and inviting friends and family that are comfortable going outdoors over to your house. Another great way to be social is through Senior Centers without Walls, which is a program that brings programming directly to seniors through a phone line.

3. Get moving. Finding motivation to get moving and exercise can be particularly challenging during the winter but can have so many positive benefits including boosting your mood. Some fun ways to get moving include following along to a DVD or online workout, joining a fitness class in your community or a fitness class online.

4. Get help with groceries. Getting to and from the grocery store can get particularly difficult when snow and ice are thrown in the mix. During the winter months you can consider having your groceries delivered. Walmart, Metro and Loblaws will all do grocery delivery. Another option is to have prepared meals delivered to you through a service like Meal on Wheels.

5. Get out for a Winter Stay. Another option that combines everything discussed here,  is to consider staying at a Retirement Home for a short period of time over the winter. This can provide a solution to all mentioned above by bringing  the services you need to one place without having to go outdoors. Winter stays can start as low as $65 a day and can be for one month up to three or four months. These stay are often like a hotel stay where you are provided with a furnished suite, and enjoy the benefits of full meals, new friendships, access to nursing and health care services as well as social programming and on site salons and even physiotherapy!


Need a little extra help thriving this winter? Call us at Solva Senior Living and we are more than happy to discuss services and programs to help you or a loved one thrive.