It seems no matter what part of the country you live, the winter time is famous for it's "mood swings"! Especially in Oklahoma, you may wake up to a day with an expected high of 60 degrees, with a forecast for sleet, snow and a 15 degree high the next day! Those kinds of temperature swings can wreak havoc in the lives of our seniors if we are not diligent in helping to protect their health with the best clothing choices.
Obviously it is very important if the weather is chilly (for many seniors, that's anything under 70 degrees) that you will need to make sure they dress in such a way to keep them warm, both inside their home, or outside when headed out to do various errands. Encourage them to dress in "layers", so that should they become to warm they can easily shed part of their outfit. For instance, wearing a comfortable shirt or blouse, layered with a light sweater, and then a coat on top of that if the trip takes you out into cold weather. Once you arrive at your destination it is easy to remove the coat and/or the sweater so that they don't become too hot or too cold.
Remember "HHF"... that stands for Heads, Hands & Feet. It is vital to keep these three areas warm AND dry. The head may need a scarf, hat, beanie or other warm head covering. The popularity of gaiters (stretchable face coverings) can also be a good choice as long as it doesn't inhibit their breathing. There a variety of styles and types of gloves or mittens one can choose from to keep the hands warm. Finally, it's important to keep those feet warm- whether that means wearing socks and slippers in the home, heavier socks for wearing outside in cold weather, or even the need for galoshes in the event you will be tracking to rain or snow.
One final note... as a caregiver it is important for you to remember that our wonderful seniors not only want to dress in a way to keep them healthy, but they also like to look good doing it! Make sure you give attention to their appearance, and assist where needed so they are happy and proud of their appearance, whether at home or in public!
Page Cole is a leader in home care in Oklahoma. He has published the following resources for Seniors-