How to Keep Indianapolis Senior Citizens Safe During Freezing Weather (Plus Space Heater Safety Tips)
How to Keep Indianapolis Senior Citizens Safe During Freezing Weather (Plus Space Heater Safety Tips)
January 13, 2016
by Lisa TreadwellA frigid arctic blast is invading Central Indiana. Senior citizens are the most vulnerable to these horrific conditions. Here are some ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Please take a few moments and check in on Mom and Dad, senior family members, and older Indianapolis neighbors and friends.

According to the Red Cross, “Those over the age of 65 account for nearly half of all hypothermia deaths. As the body ages, the ability to maintain a normal internal body temperature decreases, creating an insensitivity to moderately cold temperatures. Seniors may not realize they are putting themselves at risk until symptoms appear. Symptoms of hypothermia include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. If symptoms are present, immediate medical attention is necessary.”

 

Tips on How to Stay Safe from the National Institute on Aging
 

Know that changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold.

Wear several layers of loose clothing when it’s cold. The layers will trap warm air between them. Don’t wear tight clothing because it can keep your blood from flowing freely. This can lead to loss of body heat.

Ask your doctor how the medicines you are taking affect body heat. Some medicines used by older people can increase the risk of accidental hypothermia. These include drugs used to treat anxiety, depression, or nausea. Some over-the-counter cold remedies can also cause problems.

When the temperature has dropped, drink alcohol moderately, if at all. Alcoholic drinks can make you lose body heat.

Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you don’t eat well, you might have less fat under your skin. Body fat helps you to stay warm.

Health Problems

Some illnesses may make it harder for your body to stay warm. These include problems with your body’s hormone system such as low thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), health problems that keep blood from flowing normally (like diabetes), and some skin problems where your body loses more heat than normal.

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