When our weather changes, everyone is worried about “winter dangers” such as broken bones from falls on ice, breathing problems caused by cold air, hypothermia and frostbite. The winter chill can lower the temperature inside the body and that can be deadly if not treated quickly.
Cold weather can be particularly risky for older people.
It is very important for a senior to know his/her surroundings and prepare for the winter months. Changes in the older adult that accompany aging make it harder for them to know when they are getting cold. It is also harder for the body to warm itself. So it is very important for older adults to pay attention to the weather and how cold it is going to get.
Some general safety recommendations from the American Geriatric Society are:
1. Stay indoors when it’s very cold outside, especially if it’s also very windy; and keep indoor temperatures at about 65 degrees or above
2. If you have to go outside, don’t stay out in the cold or the wind for very long
3. Wear two or three thinner layers of loose-fitting clothing. (They are warmer than a single layer of thick clothing.) Always wear: a hat, gloves or mittens (mittens are warmer), a coat and boots, a scarf to cover your mouth and nose and protect your lungs from very cold air.