- 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