A deep freeze is making our area the coldest it has been this winter season. The freezing temperatures is especially dangerous for seniors. The caregivers at Green Hill Senior Living suggest that you check on your seniors and those in your neighborhood, and follow these simple cold weather protocols.
Make sure that your thermostat is set at 68-70 degrees. Some seniors keep their thermostat low in an effort to save money. Close the doors to rooms that are not being used to save on heating costs. Or, invite your senior to stay with you during the deep freeze.
Never use your gas stove as a heating device. This may cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Refrain from using old space heaters or extension cords for space heaters as this may cause a fire hazard. If you or your senior does not have heat immediately call your supplier or your local health department for assistance, and go to a local warming station or neighbor’s house.
Core Body Temperature
Regulating body temperature takes energy and a healthy body. Seniors lose body temperature more quickly than younger adults. Check to see that your senior has plenty of warm and nutritious food available, and that they are taking their medications properly.
If you don’t have to go outside don’t. If you or your senior has a medical appointment or another important activity that cannot be rescheduled be sure that you bundle up well. Pay special attention to your hands and feet. Be careful of icy sidewalks and roadways.
Wearing clothing in layers helps to retain body heat. Did you know that most of a body’s heat is released at the head? Layer in loose clothing and wear a hat. Even indoors and at night a hat is a sure way to help keep the heat in.
If you or your senior has any level of memory loss or cognitive issues they may not be aware that they are cold, or be able to follow cold weather protocols. If this is a concern for you consider taking advantage of a respite stay at a local senior care community near you during the winter months.
For more information visit the National Institute of Health website.