We’ve had some cold weather this winter, and while the snow can look lovely, it can present some special safety challenges for older adults. If you’re a senior or have an older family member you’re concerned about in this cold weather, here’s a list of easy tips to use so seniors can stay safe when the temperatures are low.
As we age, it becomes harder to retain body heat, so hypothermia, which is when someone has a dangerously low body temperature, can set in fast. It’s important to take extra precautions to stay warm both indoors and outside when the weather is cold.
Inside the home:
- Keep the thermostat setting on 68 to 70 degrees.
- Close curtains and window blinds when temperatures are frigid to avoid heat loss. If the senior is a homeowner, have a professional check the windows to be sure they are properly insulated.
- Dress warmly. Seniors should wear layers of clothing to stay warm and also keep their feet warm with socks and slippers. Use throw blankets for relaxing, and for bedtime use long pajamas, a cap, and socks to stay warm all night.
- Eat a healthy diet. Seniors should be sure to get enough calories from a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins. Unhealthy weight loss can make it harder to stay warm. It’s important for seniors to always check with their doctor or licensed dietitian to ensure that their diet is appropriate for their fitness level and any medications prescribed.
- Avoid outdoor activity on exceptionally cold days.
- If seniors need to go outside for errands or exercise, it’s important to bundle up before leaving the house with a warm coat and several layers. Appropriate socks, shoes, hats, and gloves are also a must.
- If any clothes get wet, it’s important to go back inside right away and change into warm, dry clothes.
Finally, be sure that seniors have regular communication with friends and family during the winter. Winter storms can cause power outages that can leave them without heat and put them in danger of hypothermia, so it’s important for seniors to have someone check in on them regularly.
Winter months can be a challenge, but by following a few easy safety tips, seniors can stay warm and active all season long. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living, our senior living facilities and programs are designed to provide a healthy, active lifestyle in a friendly, caring community. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, give us a call and our expert senior care professionals will make the transition easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special! Ashbridge Manor is a safe, COVID-free senior living community.