As the temperature dips over much of the country, you or your loved ones must be aware of the hazards of hypothermia. Winter may provide many people with the opportunity for enjoyable activities, but it can also be dangerous. Being aware of the risk of hypothermia will allow you or your loved ones to enjoy the season without jeopardizing your safety. Read on to find out more about preventing hypothermia in seniors.
Higher Risk for Older Adults
Hypothermia may affect everyone, but older adults are more vulnerable. Some common senior disorders, such as Type 2 diabetes, can impair the body’s ability to generate heat and control its temperature. Other factors that do not directly affect body temperature may contribute to hypothermia risk. Arthritis, for example, may impair movement and make it more difficult to dress warmly. Others may induce cognitive impairments, impairing one’s awareness of their body’s state and what they need to do to keep safe.
People typically associate hypothermia with being outside in severely cold weather, but it may develop even in an older adult who lives in a poorly insulated environment. Keeping warm may be a major issue for individuals on tight finances since heating expenses can become prohibitively costly in the winter.
3 Ways of Prevention
Here are 3 ways of hypothermia prevention:
- Make you or your loved ones dress for the weather, even if you are staying indoors. Wearing numerous layers of clothes and covering your extremities can help you avoid turning up the thermostat.
- Making sure that your house is adequately insulated might also help to keep it warm at a low cost.
- Contact energy providers and localities to see if they provide assistance plans for older adults with low incomes. This may be a valuable resource when attempting to keep prices low when turning up the heat in the house.
Aging can impair a person’s ability to gauge their own body temperature, which is problematic because it also makes heat retention more difficult. Most people check for shivering to assess whether or not someone is too chilly. While shivering is an excellent starting point, it does not always imply hypothermia, and its absence does not rule out the condition. Even when hypothermic, older people do not shiver as much as younger people. A complete lack of shivering in cold weather might potentially indicate that a person’s body temperature is too low.
If you come across an older adult who is hypothermic, call an ambulance right away. When the body gets extremely cold, it becomes incredibly feeble, and moving too much or warming up too rapidly can be deadly. Use blankets and clothes to assist the person’s body temperature increase but avoid using any quick-response measures like hot water or electric blankets.
Choose TerraBella Northridge
The combination of superior care, facilities and lifestyle activities, and customized attention at TerraBella Northridge deliver a senior living experience unlike any other. Our community is great for those seeking 24-hour care and service as well as a hassle-free retirement life. We offer two senior living options, including assisted living and personalized memory care.