As temperatures start to plummet, most are anticipating the season’s first big “cold snap,” the family gatherings and the upcoming holidays. Not too many are considering the fact that the upcoming cold will result in an increased amount of health issues.
No, we are not referring to the seasonal flu and the colds that negatively impact populations throughout the nation. We are talking about the health problems that may arise in the elderly due to their exposure to cold temperatures – mainly hypothermia.
In the winter, the body temperature naturally drops. This drops at faster and higher rates among aging populations. Continue reading to learn about how the drop in temperatures negatively impact the elderly.
Why is Cold Weather a Danger for the Elderly?
There are several different factors that come into play when it comes to why cold weather is so detrimental to the elderly. These include physical factors and behavioral factors. The following outlines these:
- When a person ages, they are less likely to feel the cold as they did when they were younger.
- The body’s ability to regulate its temperature is reduced in the elderly.
- Aging populations are more likely to suffer from medical conditions and/or take an assortment of medications that may result in a higher level of vulnerability in cold temperatures.
- Many older individuals fail to obtain the proper amount of nutrition and hydration. As a result, it is possible for them to be more susceptible to negative effects of the cold and even to become dehydrated.
- Many aging populations are on a limited income. As a result, they are more likely to run heat on lower temperatures so that they do not run up their electric bill.
- Many elderly people may dress inappropriately for the cold weather and/or remain in an inactive stay – in their homes – when outdoor temperatures drop. These activities make them more likely to experience complications with the cold.
Ensuring Warmth Among the Elderly
In order to prevent hypothermia and other issues – such as slowed circulation – that may occur among the elderly, you may take the following steps to keep those of an older age warm:
- The heat should be kept at no lower than 73® Anything less may result in complications.
- The home openings – such as the windows and the doors – should be sealed to ensure that cold outdoor temperatures do not find their way into the home.
- Ventilation of the home heating unit should be properly maintained.
- The air should contain a small amount of moisture inside of the home.
- When possible, the clothes worn by the elderly should be layered to ensure that body heat is retained.
- The individual should avoid going outside in cold temperatures unless necessary and only when they are dressed properly. This includes a head covering, layered clothing, jacket, scarf, gloves, and warm shoes or boots.
Elderly people are at high risk when it comes to cold weather. Every effort should be made to protect them. The most important aspect to keeping the elderly warm is to make certain their heat pump is working properly.
If you search “heat pump dealer near me”, you should come across professionals that can ensure the indoor areas of the homes of the elderly are properly heated.
To go directly to one of these sites and connect with a professional, visit the following link now: https://ronaldsmithhvac.com/schedule/