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Safety for Seniors in Cold Weather

As the temperature starts to drop, it’s important to take extra care of yourself if you’re a senior. Seniors are more susceptible to cold weather related health problems such as hypothermia and frostbite. Here are some tips from the National Institute on Aging on how to stay safe and healthy during the cold weather months.

  • Wear several layers of loose fitting, warm clothing. Outer garments should be water repellant.

  • Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.

  • Stay dry—wet clothing loses all of its insulation value and actually conducts body heat away from you.

  • Make sure your home is well-insulated and draft-free. Wear a sweater indoors.

  • Use a humidifier to keep indoor air moist—dry air is worse in cold weather because it dries out your mucous membranes, leaving you more susceptible to respiratory infections.

  • Eat well-balanced meals and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol as it causes your body to lose heat faster.

  • Watch for signs of hypothermia such as confusion, drowsiness, or exhaustion, and frostbite such as numbness, pale or waxy skin. If you have these signs, seek medical attention immediately.

By following these simple tips, you can stay safe and healthy all winter long! If you start to experience any signs of hypothermia or frostbite, seek medical attention immediately.


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