Experts estimate that approximately 600 older adults throughout the United States died as a result of hypothermia each year.
This means their body temperature dropped too low, compromising functioning. While most people think of extremely low temperatures and dangerous conditions when considering hypothermia, this isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to cold weather danger for older adults. Physical challenges and circumstances including lower metabolic rate, less shivering, compromised temperature regulation, health problems such as diabetes, and more can make your parent far more vulnerable to low temperatures.
Even temperatures that seem extremely mild to younger adults can be dangerous for a senior. Anytime the temperature dips below 65 degrees, seniors are at risk, make it extremely important for you as a family caregiver to take steps while the weather is still mild to keep your parent and their home warmer this winter.
Use these tips to keep your seniors home warmer this winter:
Keep the thermostat set between 68 and 70 degrees at all times. Avoid lowering it even at night, as even a few degrees lower than this can be detrimental
If your parent does not have a reliable heating system or does not want the central heating system kept this high, make sure they have an effective space heater in the room with them. Be sure they understand the safety issues related to space heaters, including keeping them three feet away from all other objects, never leaving them unattended, and never using a heater intended for outdoors inside
Be sure all their windows and doors are properly weather sealed. Walk around the home and go to each window and outside the door. Hold a piece of paper at the edges and under to test for air moving from the outside. If the paper moves, the window or door needs better weather stripping to prevent cold air from coming in and warm air from moving out
Open the curtains during the day to let in more sunlight. This will provide ambient heat to warm up the space
You are not alone when you are a family caregiver. Though your responsibilities for your parent might seem overwhelming, you can rely on a senior home care services provider to help you give your loved one the care they need. Whether you live at a distance from your senior and need to arrange for consistent, ongoing care, or you only need a few specific tasks managed on a regular basis, senior care is the ideal supplement to the care you give. This allows your parent to feel confident they are able to live the life they want, while also giving you peace of mind that they will be safe and healthy as possible.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Haverford, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. Call today: (484) 206-4544
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