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Are Seniors More Susceptible to the Cold Than Younger Adults?

In many areas of the country, the summer heat is gone, and the cooler temperatures of the fall are settling in.
In the coming weeks, the temperatures will continue to drop, and the cold will take over. As a family caregiver, it is important to realize that this may pose greater challenges and needs for your senior then you may have anticipated. Particularly if you have only recently begun your experience as a caregiver, you may not realize just how much cooler temperatures can impact your parent. The reality is, elderly adults tend to be far more susceptible to the cold than younger adults, and may even face dangers and health risks associated with the cold that you would not have expected.

 

Senior adults tend to lose body heat far more quickly than younger adults, and more quickly than they did when they were younger.
There are many factors that can cause this. Many seniors have less body fat, and thinner skin, which makes them more susceptible to cold. Their bodies are also less capable of regulating temperature changes, and cannot retain heat as effectively. This means your senior may complain of feeling cold even when you think the temperature is comfortable or mild. Something very important to keep in mind is that this feeling of being cold could be much more than just discomfort. This susceptibility to cold temperatures can actually be dangerous for your loved one.


When most people hear the term hypothermia, they think of extremely cold temperatures, or extreme situations such as hikers who get lost in the woods, or people who fall through the ice into very cold lakes.
While these situations can absolutely lead to hypothermia, they are not the only circumstances when this can occur. For elderly adults, this potentially serious issue can occur even at relatively mild temperatures, and normal situations. Even setting the indoor temperature between 60 and 65 degrees, or not wearing sufficient layers at such temperatures, can cause your parent to suffer hypothermia.

If they live alone and do not have someone with them regularly, this condition can become extremely dangerous, and even fatal, quickly. This makes it critical to ensure your parent knows how to stay warm, including dressing appropriately and setting their thermostat and a warm enough temperature in the cold weather.

 

The change in seasons is a fantastic time to evaluate your caregiver efforts and make meaningful changes to ensure your senior is getting everything they need.
Now maybe the right time to introduce home care into your routine to help your parent manage the new challenges that can come along with the cold weather of fall and winter, as well as other needs that may arise during the shift in seasons, the holiday season, and the new year to come. As a family caregiver, knowing your elderly loved one has access to customized care even when you are extremely busy can give you peace of mind, easier stress, and protect your own health and quality of life, while doing the same for your senior.

 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Mana Hawkin, NJ, to assist a family caregiver, please talk to the caring staff at Shore Homecare Services today. Email us: info@shorehomecareservices.com or Call 732-534-5000.


Source:
Nia.nih.gov

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