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Senior Living: Cold Weather Tips

By , 8:00 am on

Have you noticed how kids don’t seem to feel the cold?  As we all age, our bodies lose heat faster, and we need to remember this in the cold winter months. Unfortunately this makes us much more susceptible to hypothermia in later years. What we used to wear or were able to do is now different because our bodies change overtime. But this doesn’t mean stop living, it just means being willing to adjust so we can keep on living.

Household Tips:

  • Keep the heat on 68 degrees or higher. Especially for those who are 75 or older. As they are even susceptible to hypothermia; half of hypothermia cases in the United States happen with people over 65 years old.
  • Eat well. Calories are a form of heat and will provide energy and warmth for your body.
  • Yes, wear layers indoors. Metabolism and circulation slows down as we get older so our old ways of dressing may need to be different. Find lightweight clothes to layer in order to still be comfortable but also have heat to trap in the layers. Put slippers on over your socks too.

Outing Tips:

  • Add to your layers with a sweater/sweatshirt, and then your coat. This will trap more heat.
  • Stretch before you go outside. This will get the blood flowing through your body, and get you warmed up.
  • Wear a hat and a scarf. Most of your body heat escapes through the top of your body. A hat will do wonders. And a scarf will help to seal any cold air getting in between your coat and clothes.
  • Wear gloves or mittens too. It is easy for your hands to get cold and fingertips get frostbite very easily.
  • Have someone shovel the sidewalk and driveway. And avoid ice. Be sure to put on new treads on walkers or canes for better traction.

Absolutely too cold?

There will be days where ice and temperatures are just too extreme. This means that days of feeling isolated or alone may happen, but as I’ve heard people say—find the magic in your situation.

  • Enjoy a favorite hot drink.
  • Call a friend or family member and have a conversation.
  • Do that project you’ve wanted to complete forever ago or find something new to do. Science shows that novelty in our lives increases our sense of well-being so let your imagination have fun.

References from:

Photo Credit: Paul VanDerWerf: Chestnut And Dapple Grey Winter Coats