• Older adults are more susceptible to hypothermia,

which occurs when too much heat escapes from the body. It

is important to dress warmly and keep dry, but equally

important to remember good nutrition. Hot food and warm

drinks are best to warm the body.

  • When going outdoors, remember to dress warmly.

Wear layered, loose-fitting clothing and mittens. When

possible, wear a hat to protect against heat loss since

nearly half of all body heat is lost through the head.

  • You can prevent many winter hazards simply by planning

ahead. Before winter arrives, check all the windows and

doors in your home for cracked or worn seals. A new application

of caulking may be needed; in a pinch, staple a sheet of plastic

tarp over really old windows.

  • Talk to your electric or gas company to see if you can be

put on a level billing system that averages your energy payments

equally over 12 months. This doesn’t save money, but it does

help to budget during the heating season and prevent

your heat from being shut off.

  • To avoid slips and falls, wear non-skid boots or other shoes

with plenty of traction.

  • Cold weather can put extra strain on the heart. When doing

winter chores such as shoveling snow, do some warm-up

exercises first and take plenty of breaks.

To conserve energy, heat only those rooms that you use. Close

off the attic, garage, basement, spare bedrooms or storage

areas. But don’t overdo your money-saving efforts: keep your

thermostat set to at least 65 degrees to prevent hypothermia

and frozen pipes.

  • When using a portable heater, plug the heater directly into an

outlet, not to an extension cord. Make sure the outlet and wiring

are in good condition. Keep the area around the heater clear of

furniture, newspaper or other flammable materials and take

special care to avoid tripping over cords.

–courtesy of Healthy Aging Partnership