Single-digit and below-zero temperatures make winter difficult to handle in many U.S. states. When these arctic blasts occur, it’s important to keep seniors safe. Here are the five biggest dangers senior citizens face when brutal cold temperatures set in.
For seniors with a dog, it’s still important to get the dog outside for a quick walk. If the temperature outside is 0 and wind speeds are at 15 mph, it takes just half an hour for frostbite to set in. With faster winds or colder temperatures, frostbite can occur in 5 to 10 minutes.
If your parent goes outside without the appropriate attire, problems can occur faster. Your mom or dad need to have a winter coat, scarf, hat, gloves, and protective moisturizer on exposed skin. Wearing layers is also important to stay warm.
When the body temperature drops to 95 degrees F or lower, hypothermia sets in. As the body temperature drops, it affects organ health. Senior citizens can have a harder time recognizing when they are cold. If they become too cold, the heart and lungs may stop working effectively, which can cause serious health issues.
Heating System Failures
Cold weather causes heating systems to run more frequently. The extra usage may cause the system to fail. If this happens, your parent’s home now has no heat until someone can come out and repair the system.
Your parents may try to go without due to fear of the costly bill or hesitance to have to ask you for help. If this happens, the pipes within the home can freeze and burst. This makes repairs even more expensive. It also puts them at risk of hypothermia as the house becomes too cold and the body temperature drops to unsafe levels.
Icy Sidewalks and Driveways
When the weather dips below freezing, packed snow also freezes. A warmer afternoon with a little sun can cause the upper layer of snow to melt. When temperatures dip back below freezing, that melted snow is now a sheet of ice. This puts your parent at risk of a serious fall if they go outside for a walk.
Flu season starts in the fall and worsens through the winter months. While a flu shot offers some protection, it’s not a guarantee. There’s always the chance that the flu vaccine doesn’t contain the correct strains.
Two of the biggest issues with the flu is that it can lead to pneumonia. The inflammation can also affect the heart and lungs and cause problems with cardiovascular function. If your parent gets the flu, it’s very important to see a doctor.
Make sure someone checks on your parent regularly throughout the winter. A home care service can do this for you. Schedule caregiver visits as often as your mom or dad needs and keep them safe at home. Call a home care agency to get started.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Manassas City, VA, please contact the caring staff at LivinRite Home Care. Call Us Today at (703) 634-9991.
Serving Northern Virginia, The Valley, and Surrounding Communities.
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