When the temperature drops, older adults run a higher risk of health problems and injuries related to the weather, including hypothermia, frostbite, and falls in ice and snow. It’s important that seniors, and those who care for them, take certain precautions at this time of year. Here’s what you need to know.
When it’s very cold outside, especially if it’s also very windy. Keep indoor temperatures at above 18°C. If you have to go outside, don’t stay out for very long, and go indoors if you start shivering.
Wet clothing chills your body quickly
Wearing two or three thinner layers of loose-fitting clothing is warmer than a single layer of thick clothing. Always wear layers, as well as:
When it’s cold, your heart works extra hard to keep you warm. Working hard, such as shoveling show, may put too much strain on your heart, especially if you have heart disease. Shoveling can also be dangerous if you have problems with balance, or “thin bones” (osteoporosis). Ask Your Healthcare Provider If It’s Safe for you to shovel snow or do other hard work in the cold.
It is easy to slip and fall in the winter, especially in icy and snowy conditions.
Burning wood, natural gas, kerosene and other fuels produces carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell. Unless fireplaces, wood and gas stoves and gas appliances are properly vented, cleaned, and used, they can leak dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide. These and other appliances, such as kerosene and electric heaters, can also be fire hazards.
Adults 65 and older are involved in more car accidents per mile driven than those in nearly all other age groups. Because winter driving can be more hazardous you should: