Brrr, it’s cold outside | 5 tips to conquer this Winter
When the temperature drops, older adults run a higher risk of health problems and injuries related to the weather, including hypothermia, the flu, and cabin fever. Like most things in life, it is better to be prepared.
Here are five precautions everyone should take, especially older adults, this time of year.
Avoid Hypothermia, dress for the occasion
- Dress smart – protect your lungs from cold air. Layer up! Wearing 2 or 3 thinner layers of loose-fitting clothing is warmer than a single layer of thick clothing. Think about getting your thermals!
- Keep indoor temperature warm.
- Stay dry because wet clothing chills your body more quickly.
- Essential winter wear: hats, gloves (or preferably mittens), winter coat, boots, and a scarf to cover your mouth and nose.
- Make sure steps and walkways are clear before you walk. Be especially careful if you see wet pavements.
- Wear boots with non-skid soles – this will prevent you from slipping.
- If you use a cane, replace the rubber tip before it is worn smooth.
Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- We all love a little fire in the Winter. Take caution
- During the winter months, it is common to use the fireplace or other heating sources, such as natural gas, kerosene, and other fuels. Unless fireplaces, wood and gas stoves and gas appliances are properly vented, cleaned, and used, they can leak dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide—a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell. These and other appliances, such as space heaters, can also be fire hazards.
- See these warning signs: Headache, Weakness, Nausea or vomiting, Dizziness, Confusion.
- Prevent by having these ready: First aid kit, Blankets, Extra warm clothes, Water and dried food or canned food (with can opener!
Safety first! Check your car
- Make sure your car is serviced well in advance of Winter. Make sure everything is in working order including your wipers and check your tyres.
Fight that Cabin fever (Wintertime depression)
- Elderly tend to have less contact with the outside world in Winter months due to it being difficult or sometimes dangerous to get around. This isolation tends to breed feelings of loneliness and isolation.
For the family:
Check in on your family members, regularly
They can even attend adult day care. Day care? Yes, you hear right.
A short daily phone call, makes a big difference.