cold weather - The Gathering Place, An Adult Day Center

  • Cold Weather Safety for Older Adults

    If you are like most people, you feel cold every now and then during the winter. What you may not know is that just being really cold can make you very sick.

    Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what's happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.

    Keep Warm Inside

    Living in a cold house, apartment, or other building can cause hypothermia. In fact, hypothermia can happen to someone in a nursing home or group facility if the rooms are not kept warm enough. If someone you know is in a group facility, pay attention to the inside temperature and to whether that person is dressed warmly enough.

    People who are sick may have special problems keeping warm. Do not let it get too cold inside and dress warmly. Even if you keep your temperature between 60°F and 65°F, your home or apartment may not be warm enough to keep you safe. 

  • Hypothermia and Older Adults

     

    Tips for staying safe in cold weather

    With winter's return, the colder temperatures bring some particular risks for older adults and people with chronic conditions. Older adults can lose body heat faster than when they were younger, and changes in their bodies can make it more difficult to be aware of a drop in body temperature. The result can be a dangerous condition called hypothermia.

    Hypothermia occurs when a person's core body temperature drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Even a small drop in temperature and short exposure to cold weather can develop into hypothermia. Some warnings signs of hypothermia include slowed or slurred speech; sleepiness or confusion; shivering or stiffness in the arms and legs; poor control over body movements; slow reactions, or a weak pulse.

  • Hypothermia and Older Adults

    Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what's happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.

    What Is Hypothermia?

    Hypothermia is what happens when your body temperature gets very low. For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse.

    Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places, and pay attention to how cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia.

  • Stay Safe When Exercising in Cold Weather

    Exercise has benefits all year, even during winter. But before you brave the cold, take a few extra steps to stay safe. Exposure to cold can cause health problems such as hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature.

    If you want to walk, ski, ice skate, shovel snow, or do other outdoor activities when it’s cold outside:

    • Check the weather forecast. If it’s very windy or cold, exercise inside with Go4Life videos on YouTube, and go out another time.

    • Also watch out for snow and icy sidewalks.

    • Warm up your muscles first. Try walking or light arm pumping before you go out.

    • Wear several layers of loose clothing. The layers will trap warm air between them.

    • Avoid tight clothing, which can keep your blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.

    • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it’s snowy or rainy.

    • Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.

    • Know the signs of hypothermia.