Check on Friends, Family and Neighbors as the Temperature Dips into the 20's on Saturday, Sunday and Monday Nights

Nov 18, 2022 at 08:35 pm by Seniors Helping Seniors

(Article by Seniors Helping Seniors) The feeling of winter is in the air and the National Weather Service reports the high on Saturday and Sunday (11/19/22 - 11/20/22) won't exceed 45-degrees in the Murfreesboro area. The nighttime low will be even colder, with temperatures dropping to about 20-degrees.

As the mercury continues to plummet, the need to check on elderly or disabled neighbors rises. There's more truth than fiction in the long-told adage about cold weather making you sick! The National Institute on Aging confirmed in a recent article that cold weather really can have a negative impact on the health of older adults.  In fact, the older we get, the more body heat we can lose. To make matters worse, aging adults sometimes have a hard time knowing or feeling how cold they really are. In other words, the loss of body heat can occur faster than it can be felt or realized.            

While many people are familiar with hypothermia, some may not realize that it can happen in temperatures that are above freezing. According to the CDC, “While hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.” If someone is exposed to ongoing cold temperatures, their body can begin to lose heat faster than it’s produced. As the body temperature drops, brain activity decreases - - resulting in unclear thinking, which is why it is important to check on those who are disabled or elderly during the winter months.

When checking on friends and family during the cold days or nights, nothing warms the heart and spirit like a homemade bowl of chicken orzo soup! For a delicious and veggie-packed twist to an old favorite, try this recipe from Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services:

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup With Kale (Ingredients):  

  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano and / or thyme, divided
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt, divided
  • ¾ tsp. ground pepper, divided
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Cooking Directions:  

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped chicken and sprinkle with ½ tsp. each oregano / thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook chicken until lightly browned (3 – 5 min), then transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  2. Add remaining 1 tbsp. oil, onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook until vegetables are soft and lightly browned (3 – 5 min).
  3. Add garlic, bay leaf, and remaining ½ tsp. oregano / thyme. Cook, stirring until fragrant (30 – 60 sec).
  4. Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add orzo. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 min.
  5. Add kale and chicken. Continue cooking until orzo is tender and chicken is cooked through (5 – 8 min).
  6. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, and remaining ¾ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.

Serve with a crusty slice of bread and enjoy in good company!


Article submitted by Danielle Rutherford with Seniors Helping Seniors.
Learn more about Seniors Helping Seniors by visiting their Facebook page or website today.


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