Old Woman Sitting on the Corner


Did you know that being too cold can actually make you sick? This issue is especially prevalent amongst older seniors, as older adults tend to loose body heat at a more rapid pace in comparison to younger adults.  Another factor to note is, as you age your ability to detect your bodies temperature begins to decrease, making it harder for seniors to realize the severity of how cold they may be. Being too cold becomes a serious problem when the body’s temperature becomes too low, putting one at risk for hypothermia. Hypothermia can lead to heart attack, liver damage, and kidney problems this condition is not exclusive to the outdoors as it can also develop in very cold homes. Although individuals face higher risk if the live alone, hypothermia can even occur in monitored homes such as nursing homes, if an individuals room is not maintained at a proper warmth level. Here are some tips for keeping warm and avoiding cold related issues :

  • Keep your heat at a minimum of 68-70 degrees
  • Ensure your windows are properly sealed to combat heat loss
  • Dress warmly even indoors on colder days
  • Wear extra layers of clothing when sleeping and also extra blankets
  • Eat enough, less body fat can result in being colder
  • Moderate alcohol consumption as too much can cause a loss in body heat
  • If your heating unit malfunctions during the winter, you must stay with a friend or relative

If you are traveling outside during harsh weather climates, heed the following suggestions:

  • Utilize a hat, scarf, and gloves
  • Wear a waterproof coat
  • Change as soon as possible if your clothes gets wet

The following are early sign of Hypothermia:

  • Pale skin
  • Puffiness in face
  • Cold hands & feet
  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Angry/confused
  • Drowsiness

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