Keeping Loved Ones Warm in the Winter
It’s that time of the year again–cold.
The thermometer has finally dipped, and body temperature follows that same pattern as the weather gets colder and colder throughout the winter months. While our elderly loved ones typically prefer to crank up the thermostat and can’t stand the cold, there is scientific evidence that backs up their disdain for freezing weather conditions.
As the body ages, the skin becomes thinner and is less able to tolerate fluctuation of temperature. When a person gets chilly, their heart pumps less blood to the skin, and tiny blood vessels in the skin constrict to conserve warmth. A person’s age reduces elasticity of blood vessel walls and thins the layer under the skin that helps contain and trap body heat. An elderly person’s skin is limited in its ability to control the changes between cold and heat; this places seniors in a higher risk bracket for complications such as hypothermia.
What Causes Low Temperature in the Elderly?
Besides the obvious exposure to the elements, body temperatures can drop because of various medical conditions and variables in one’s health.
Among some of these conditions are:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Beta-blockers, sedatives or antidepressants
- Nerve damage
- Sepsis (widespread)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive)
How To Keep the Cold at Bay
Cold prevention for the elderly typically requires some precautions prior to winter setting in, along with ongoing observation by family & caregivers.
We’ve prepared a short-list of ways you can help keep your loved ones warm and toasty this winter: