Cold Weather Safety for Seniors
As the weather turns colder here in Spokane it is important to make sure our seniors are staying warm and safe. Older adults can lose body heat faster than when they were young. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what's happening.
Beware of Hypothermia
Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems. Low Body temperature affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know that it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
Keep Warm Inside
Living in a cold house or apartment can cause hypothermia. 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 may not be warm enough to keep you safe.
Here are some tips for keeping warm while you're inside:
Keep Warm Outside
Check the weather forecast for cold and windy days. If you have to go out, wear warm clothes, and don't stay out in the cold and wind for a long time.
Some illnesses may make it harder for your body to stay warm.
What Are the Warning Signs of Hypothermia?
Sometimes it is hard to tell if a person has hypothermia. Look for clues. Is the house very cold? Is the person not dressed for cold weather? Is the person speaking slower than normal and having trouble keeping his or her balance?
Watch for the signs of hypothermia in yourself, too. You might become confused if your body temperature gets very low. Talk to your family and friends about the warning signs so they can look out for you.
Early signs of hypothermia:
Later signs of hypothermia:
Call 9-1-1 right away if you think someone has warning signs of hypothermia.
What to do after you call 9-1-1:
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Tyice Strahl (CSA, CHW)