Tips for Elderly to Manage Cold Weather Seasons
As the temperature drops, it’s not just uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous for our elderly loved ones. With winter fast approaching, it’s crucial that older adults and those who care for them take necessary precautions to stay safe during this time of year. Individuals with chronic illness and those taking multiple medications are particularly vulnerable to the harsh cold weather. To help seniors manage the cold weather and stay healthy, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Maintaining Proper Hydration
It’s important for family members or caregivers to ensure that seniors are getting enough hydration during the winter months (8-10 glasses of water per day). Even though people may feel less thirsty during the winter, the cold, dry air can contribute to moisture loss, so it’s important to ensure your elderly loved one is drinking consistently to prevent dehydration. Avoiding alcohol and beverages with caffeine is also recommended. Along with drinking water, older adults should also eat frequent, but relatively light meals.
Wear Warm Clothes
Even when indoors, it’s important for elderly people to dress in warm, comfortable layers. As older adults are more prone to feeling cold, it’s recommended to wear warm socks, closed-back slippers with slip-resistant soles, and use cozy throw blankets.
Keeping Room Temperature at a Comfortable Level
If the weather becomes too cold, it’s recommended to use room heaters. To ensure efficient heating, it’s important to properly seal any openings in the home (windows, doors, etc.). However, proper ventilation of rooms should also be maintained.
Use Electric Blankets With Caution
Electric blankets can provide warmth and comfort for seniors, but it’s important to use them with caution to avoid burns, electric shocks, and fires. Electric blankets or mattress pads that are more than a few years old should be replaced as the coils inside the fabric, as well as the power cords and controls, can become damaged over time and increase the risk of accidents or injuries.
Even if seniors are staying indoors, it’s important to encourage them to stay active and engage in light exercise to increase blood flow and raise body temperature.