Winter weather can be nearly magical when snow flurries are falling from the sky. And nothing matches the excitement of a grade school child who has found out that several inches of snow have given them an extra day off of school. But winter quickly wears out its welcome when it’s time to shovel driveways, navigate icy sidewalks, or drive to the grocery store.
Yes, winter may look nice, but it poses its inconveniences that, in the wrong circumstances, can quickly turn into dangers. And for older adults, particularly those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, those dangers are even more pronounced.
That’s why relocating to Copper Canyon Assisted Living and Memory Care community in sunny Tucson, Arizona, is ideal for those needing daily assistance or memory care.
Snow and ice can be dangerous for anyone; slipping and falling is more common when sidewalks and stairs are slick with snow, sleet, or ice. But older adults living with dementia or Alzheimer’s may also have a lack of strength, lowered spatial awareness, or balance difficulties that add to the problem, making it more likely that they will slip and fall.
And colder temperatures are especially risky for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Some individuals may find it hard to detect temperature changes outdoors or even in their homes if their heating system should fail. Because they may be less sensitive to temperature changes, and because they may need assistance choosing weather-appropriate clothing, these individuals are at a higher risk for hypothermia.
Fortunately, the average winter temperature in Tucson is between 66 and 70 degrees, meaning snow and ice are nearly unheard-of. In fact, forget hiding inside waiting for spring—Tucson has the perfect winter weather for lunch or a walk outdoors!
It has become widespread knowledge that changing seasons and exposure to sunlight can affect our moods. It turns out that the weather may have even more to do with how our brains work than we previously thought. In a study published in PLOS Medicine by Andrew Lim of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, authors found that older adults—both with and without Alzheimer’s—may be affected by the seasons. The study found that average cognitive function was higher in the summer and fall than the winter and spring—a difference that was equivalent to 4.8 years difference in age-related cognitive decline. In addition, they found that the odds of meeting the diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment or dementia were higher in the winter and spring than in summer or fall.
With its mild climate and longer winter daylight hours, Tucson is the perfect place for older adults to avoid the detrimental cognitive effects that winter weather can have.
In areas where blizzards are a normal part of winter life, it is common for travel hiccups to occur as a result of winter precipitation. For seniors who require in-home care, that can mean a dangerous delay in receiving necessary care or medications. If a caretaker is unable to travel due to winter weather, individuals who rely on in-home care can be left alone without proper assistance.
At a memory care community, caring staff are available 24/7 to assist residents. There is no need to travel or to wait for care to arrive—it’s already there! And at Copper Canyon, residents receive Person-Centered Care that is fully customized to their needs, including options for health monitoring, medication management, assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming, and oral care.
While winter weather can be charming, it’s undeniable that a warmer climate like Tucson is better suited to seniors’ needs.
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon, contact our friendly team today`