We are nearly halfway there…creeping up on the mid-point of the winter season. The cold weather, snow, and ice can make life challenging for almost everyone, however, older adults in particular are more susceptible to the dangers of this season. Therefore, they need to be aware of the hazards winters hold for them, and take necessary steps to protect themselves. Let’s take a look at some of these dangers.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the “Wintertime Blues”
Many seniors experience a significant decrease in mood and energy levels during the winters. This is usually caused by decreased day-time light, and the phenomenon is called as “SAD” or “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. To avoid SAD or wintertime blues, things like opening blinds and curtains to let the natural light in can be helpful. Older adults experiencing depression during the winters should however consult a doctor.
Hypothermia and Frostbite
Hypothermia and Frostbite are two health risks of winters that older adults really need to be mindful of.
- Hypothermia occurs when the internal temperature of the body drops too low. While the normal temperature of the body is 98.6 °F (37 °C), Hypothermia drops the body temperature below 95 °F (35 °C). Older adults are more susceptible to this condition since they have greater surface area to body weight ratio.
- Frostbite occurs when a body part actually freezes. It usually affects the cheeks, nose, ears, fingers, toes, and chin. In extreme cases, frostbite may result in amputation of the affected body part. In order to stay safe, seniors should properly cover all parts of their body when going outside. If the skin turns dark or red in color, go inside immediately.
Heart Attacks and High Blood Pressure
Health problems such as high blood pressure and heart attacks are more common in winters as the cold weather increases blood pressure and strain on the heart. The heart has to therefore work harder to maintain the right level of body heat. The falling temperature causes an unhealthy rise in the blood pressure especially in older adults.
Keeping these health considerations in mind, help your senior loved one stay safe during the cold months. If you need senior care services in North Vancouver, contact Always Best Care. It is well-known senior care firm that has helped numerous seniors age in place through their quality services. Call at (778) 945-3010 to schedule your free care consultation today.