If you are anything like most individuals, you would feel cold occasionally during the winter. However, you may not realize that simply staying cold can cause you to be unwell. As we age, our body’s capability to control its temperature will change. These changes can cause us to lose body heat faster than younger people and make it harder to notice when we feel cold.
A severe chill can potentially develop into a hazardous situation and cause risks such as hypothermia. Many individuals believe that hypothermia only happens in severely cold environments. In reality, individuals may start to encounter symptoms at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are five recommendations for keeping seniors warm during winter.
One of the best ways to stay warm is to wear lightweight layers of clothing to maintain a comfortable body temperature throughout the day, even if you are staying indoors. Keep your clothes dry, as the wet fabric will do little to keep you warm. If you decide to leave home, you should wear a hat, coat, and gloves for an extra layer of warmth. A strong wind can quickly reduce your body temperature. Wearing waterproof shoes or boots would help keep your feet from getting frostbites. Upon returning home after being outside in the snow or rain, replace the damp garments with dry ones.
During the winter, it is more difficult to access resources in the case of emergencies. That is why it is important to stock up on supplies for prescription medication, non-perishable food, and water. There are also fall risks that you need to identify and prevent. Creating slip-proof pathways and footwear that has a strong grip would prevent fall risks. There can also be potential fire risks from items like overheating electric blankets, candles, and even space heaters. To combat this, ensure that monoxide alarms are in working conditions and fire extinguishers are readily available nearby.
Feed Them Hot Meals
Keep yourself fed during the colder months so that your body has all the needed nutrients to maintain a robust immune system. By introducing healthy fats into your diet, you get to boost your metabolism and keep your body warm. Drinking warm beverages such as coffee or tea and consuming hearty stews, soups, and chili is also an excellent way to warm your body from the inside out. Those who do not want to cook can consider hiring a caregiver or joining a senior living community for their daily needs.
The way to increase your body temperature during this chilly season is through exercise! Regular exercise maintains your fitness level and aids in the maintenance of the immune system, which is crucial in preventing colds and flu during the winter. As exercising outside may not be the safest option during the winter months, local indoor gyms can provide a safe and convenient way to stay healthy and active. Snow shoveling and winter driving are two hazardous activities that you should exercise extreme caution when engaging in.
Have Routine Checks
Getting stuck at home in the cold is very dangerous for you or your loved one. The following are some steps that you can take to prevent any mishaps from happening. Check the heater to ensure it is still working. Keep your thermostat above 68 degrees Fahrenheit as any home that is colder than 68 degrees can be dangerous for you or your loved one, especially if it is improperly insulated. Check to see if your home is losing heat through the windows. Keep the cold air out by putting weather stripping or caulk around the windows. Lastly, take a flu vaccination before winter, as flu can lead to pneumonia.