As we feel that autumn chill in the air, it’s a clear signal that winter is coming. It’s also a reminder to start taking steps to protect our senior family members, who are particularly vulnerable to cold weather risks like hypothermia. In the Portland Metro area, companies like EQC Home Care are an excellent resource for providing high-quality care and support.
What Hypothermia Means for Seniors
Hypothermia is an urgent health risk that occurs when the body loses heat more quickly than it can produce, causing the body temperature to drop to a dangerous level. Seniors are especially at risk because, as we age, our bodies find it harder to regulate temperature.
Keeping Your Loved One’s Home Warm
Aim to maintain an indoor temperature of between 68-70°F. If you’re concerned about cost, one trick is to close off rooms that are not in use. However, make sure these are adequately sealed to avoid drafts in other parts of the house.
A significant amount of heat can be lost through windows. Keeping blinds and curtains closed can help, as can adding weather stripping or caulk around window frames.
Dressing for Comfort Inside
Encourage your senior loved ones to layer their clothing even when indoors. Think thermal leggings beneath pants and a long-sleeved shirt with a sweater. Warm socks and indoor footwear can also make a huge difference.
Proper Nutrition and Limiting Alcohol
Make sure your loved one is eating balanced meals regularly. Adequate nutrition can assist in maintaining body temperature. Though it may be tempting to warm up with an alcoholic drink, alcohol can make the body lose heat faster. So, moderation is key.
The Importance of a Support Network
Always keep communication lines open. It’s a good idea to have someone check in on your senior loved one during colder months. If they lose power and can’t heat their home, try to arrange for them to stay somewhere warm.
Consult with Healthcare Providers
Some medications and chronic conditions can interfere with the body’s heat retention. Make sure to consult healthcare providers about how medications or chronic illnesses may affect your loved one’s ability to stay warm.
Winter safety for seniors is a priority for EQC Home Care in the Portland Metro area. Remember, it’s always better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to winter safety. Stay warm, stay safe, and if you need additional support, know that EQC Home Care is here to help.