Dangerous cold weather poses health risks to the elderly
Elderly should dress in layers before stepping into the cold
Extreme cold can pose a health threat to everyone, but single-digit temperatures in the next week are especially dangerous for the elderly.
"There is a lot of danger when cold weather arises, because seniors are at an increased risk for developing hypothermia," said Nancy Foster, the owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Milton, WV.
Those over the age of 65 account for nearly half of all hypothermia deaths. Experts say as the body ages, the ability to maintain normal internal body temperatures decreases, creating insensitivity to moderately cold temperatures. Many times seniors may not realize they are putting themselves at risk until symptoms appear.
"Exhaustion, shivering, memory loss, drowsiness, if they experience anything like that they need to seek their physician," said Foster.
Caregivers recommend that seniors keep the thermostat at or above 65 degrees. As temperatures drop, add an extra blanket to the bed and put on an extra jacket, socks, and even a hat.
"Take some time to check on your elderly neighbors and loved ones to see if they have the heating on and are dressed warmly," said Foster.
350 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Main (304) 343-1313
Fax (304) 343-6138