Healthy Living Blog- Cold Weather Safety Tips for Older Adults
Older adults make less body heat because of slower metabolism and less exercise. This makes them more at risk for hypothermia, which is when your body temperature gets too low (under 95℉), and other health issues during cold weather. Older adults and caregivers should know some tips to keep safe and healthy during the Bay Area winter season.
What is hypothermia?
Hypothermia is when your body temperature gets too low. For older adults, a body temperature of 95° Fahrenheit or lower can cause many health problems such as a heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, and even death.
Symptoms of hypothermia include:
- Very cold feet and hands
- Pale skin
- Shivering; in some cases, people with hypothermia might not shiver
- Slurring words or slower speech
- Acting sleepy
- Slow heartbeat
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Losing consciousness
- Slow movements or trouble walking
Tips for older adults to stay safe in cold weather
- If you have heating, set your thermostat to at least 68-70℉. To save money on your heating bills, turn off the heat in areas of your house you are not using.
- Use a space heater. Don’t put them close to anything that can catch on fire.
- Stay warm by wearing layers of clothing both inside and outside the house. Wear loose-fitting clothing that are made of wool or fleece because they trap body heat. If inside, wear wool socks and cover yourself with a blanket.
- Eat enough healthy foods. This is to make sure you have body fat, which helps keep you warm.
- Try not to drink alcohol because it makes your body lose heat. Drink warm beverages instead like hot tea or hot chocolate.
- Ask your family or friends to check on you during cold weather, especially if you live in your own home. If you don’t have enough heating, stay with a family member or friend.
Have questions or curious to learn more? Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor. AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!