During the winter months, it’s crucial for your loved ones to stay as warm and comfortable as possible. As our overall health tends to decline as we age, this means that loved ones are particularly vulnerable to colder temperatures. From injuries and falls to health complications like heart attack and liver damage, your loved ones can fall victim to a number of health risks during winter. As such, here are some ways you and your loved ones can uphold safety in winter.
Your loved ones may have a higher likelihood of experiencing poor mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety during the winter season. This is a result of the cold air and relatively gloomy weather. As mental health has a direct impact on physical health, your loved ones may develop a range of health issues like difficulty sleeping and an increased risk of chronic diseases. To combat this potential problem, you can encourage or remind your loved ones to stay engaged in the community by socializing with their neighbors or friends. Forming connections and relationships is a powerful way to uplift the mind and combat loneliness. Some activities like movie and bonfire nights provide great opportunities for mingling.
If you discover that your loved ones’ skin has turned pale and are feeling incredibly weak, they might be suffering from hypothermia. Hypothermia is when the body’s temperature has decreased to dangerously low levels, and this can lead to heart and respiratory system failures. In severe cases, hypothermia can even lead to death. Other warning signs you can keep a lookout for include difficulty walking and breathing, and a slower heart rate. When your loved ones are experiencing hypothermia, they should immediately be indoors, specifically in an environment that’s 65 degrees or higher. Your loved ones should dress in at least two to three layers of thick and dry clothing, and cover up their mouths and nose with knitted pieces.
Loved ones who are exposed to extremely low temperatures can develop frostbites. Frostbites are incredibly painful as damage to the skin extends deep down to the bones, and feel waxy or hard in texture. Due to its effects, loved ones with heart disease and other circulatory complications are at a higher risk of getting frostbites on their noses, cheeks, ears, and toes. In order to prevent frostbites from occurring, your loved ones should cover up when they’re heading outdoors. If frostbites do occur, your loved ones should instantly run the injury over warm water. Do note that the water should not be boiling hot!
In cooler temperatures, your loved ones’ hearts have to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, which keeps them warm. As such, your loved ones have an increased chance of experiencing high blood pressure and heart attacks. Other common illnesses that occur during the winter months include pneumonia due to a weaker immune system and respiratory issues and joint pain. If your loved ones are facing these issues, your loved ones should not hesitate to consult a medical professional.