For many people, winter is their favorite month. It’s a relief from the hot and sticky summer months. Moreover, one gets to bundle up in warm clothes and sip drinks like hot chocolate and eggnog. While this sounds cozy and idyllic to you, some of your loved ones may dread the thought of winter and the cold. This article will help explain why we get cold during winter and why the cold may even be dangerous for loved ones. We will also provide tips on how to keep loved ones warm in winter, such as by making small adjustments to their home and wearing effective thermal apparel.
Why Do We Get Cold?
As we are all aware, our skin acts as a barrier between our internal and external worlds. Our skin has several receptors containing nerve endings that code for pressure, temperature, pain, and a host of other sensations. As we grow up, both our skin along with the layer of insulating fat beneath it tend to get thinner. Moreover, blood vessels at the surface of the skin lose their elasticity. This means that they are not able to constrict as much to conserve heat. These are some of the reasons why our loved ones may be feeling the chill.
Why Is the Cold Dangerous?
We have all experienced low temperature and although it can cause a little discomfort initially, we may feel there is nothing to worry about. This cannot be further from the truth. When a person is feeling cold, their heart pumps less blood around their body to conserve energy. Over time, this can cause permanent changes in coronary arteries and vascular health issues like increased heart rate and blood pressure. In extreme scenarios, hypothermia can even set in which will shut down the heart and respiratory systems and eventually lead to death if unchecked. Sometimes, the cold itself is not the problem, what is dangerous is that your loved ones may not be aware that they are cold owing to disorientation and memory loss. On the other hand, certain underlying conditions such as nerve damage and Parkinson’s disease or even medication might make one more susceptible to the cold.
How Can Your Home Be Kept Warm?
The best way to keep your loved ones warm when they are indoors is to keep the room heated at an optimal temperature of 68 to 70 F. Caulk can be used to seal windows and doors during winter. Doors of rooms that are seldom used should also be kept shut. Do note that heaters and fireplaces could become potential fire hazards so care should be taken to maintain them.
What Can Your Loved Ones Do?
Ensure that your loved ones put on appropriate thermal wear whether they are indoors or outdoors. Preferably, they should wear layers that can be removed easily. Eating the right food is important as it’s a fuel source for the body’s heat. Your loved ones may also benefit from a community that takes care of their well-being!