It’s the chilliest time of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and most of the country is experiencing especially cold weather this season.
Overnight low temperatures across the country, from Boston to Seattle and everywhere in between, are forecast to be below freezing in the days ahead. Icy cold weather like this puts seniors at risk , so it’s important to pay special attention to their well being during this time. Learn more about how to keep seniors safe during cold weather.
Keeping Seniors Safe During Cold Weather this Winter
Elderly people with frail health are especially vulnerable to extremes in temperature, especially cold weather like that which is occurring this winter.
In the case of cold weather, seniors even risk hypothermia in their own homes in cases when the temperature falls below about 60 degrees, says Jennifer Tapner, a registered nurse at an assisted living community in Philadelphia, who was quoted in a recent CBS article.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can add to the risk when seniors don’t remember to dress appropriately or take measures to keep warm.
For this reason, experts recommend that during periods of cold weather:
- Caregivers and neighbors keep a particularly watchful eye on seniors who live alone.
- Family members of seniors should make sure that their loved ones’ houses are warm enough, and that they have enough blankets.
- Neighbors should offer to take out the trash for seniors in the neighborhood so that they don’t risk slipping in the ice. In a recent Associated Press International article, Dr. David Zich of Northwestern Medical Hospital in Chicago discusses how falls caused by ice are another danger to seniors during cold spells, and shares how neighbors can help seniors mitigate those risks.
If you have helped a senior in your life stay safe during cold weather, be sure to share your story and suggestions with us below.
Do you have questions about how assisted living communities keep seniors safe during the winter? Our Senior Living Advisors can help you. Learn more about finding assisted living in your area, or visit our resources for caregivers.