Winter Health Risks for seniors:
Need to be aware of:
For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse. Unfortunately, the cold weather also brings physical dangers that can affect one of most vulnerable populations – seniors in several ways. There are health risks that rise for seniors at this time of year snow and ice increases the risk. During the winter months, older persons, particularly those with a history of cardiovascular disease, are at a higher risk for heart attack. Activities such as snow shoveling or other outdoor exercise can cause additional strain leading to overexertion and heart attack to seniors in winter. Awareness and precaution is extremely important during snowy or icy conditions to reduce the chances of a fall of seniors and is one of the winter health risks.
Spending time with loved ones, enjoying nature, outdoor walking, and driving and having fun and participating in activities can improve quality of life for seniors. However, cold winter weather can create a barrier to many senior’s regular schedules and thus they should remain covered and warm. And, it’s not just snow and ice that make winter a difficult season for seniors – additional factors include post-holiday isolation, illness, few other medications and the physical effect of cold weather. Keep your home warm and make sure every window is covered and walls are properly insulated. Stay active by engaging yourself with some exercises.
Knowing what to look for, and creating a strategy for combatting winter health risks, can help seniors maintain positive mental health, and physical wellness and As the seasons change, it’s a good time to make evaluation of how your family is prepared for emergencies. Some factors needed to be considered in winter that risks seniors health that includes:
- Depression – Cold air and gloomy skies can make anyone feel less cheerful during the winter months. However, depression can have an outsized effect on senior loved ones and their long-term mental health. While depression is a common issue among people, it is the most common among seniors because they suffer from many unique challenges and changes, from losing control of their body to grieving over the loss of friends and loved ones and other members can cope with it and help them. Physical activity, stretching exercises and light exercises are essential to maintaining a healthy body and mind at any age.
- Winter illness– There are a variety of ways that seniors can be physically affected by the winter season and few other risks in winter may affect seniors health and we understand that you can’t be there for your aging loved ones at all times of the day. That is where we come in. Our compassionate, professional in-home caregivers can help your loved ones to stick to a daily routine and cope with depression and make them feel comfort. From companionship to meal preparation, our care providers can provide your loved ones with the essentials to live a healthy, happy, and independent life in winters from the comfort of their own home.
- Pneumonia: Pneumonia is an infection that can be dangerous for seniors due to lung issues that come with age, weakened immune systems and conditions that make pneumonia more severe. Older adults should talk to their doctor about healthy lifestyle changes and vaccines that can help.
- Joint pain: Joint pain can be more common for seniors in cold conditions – whether they suffer from arthritis or not. Dressing in layers, regulating the temperature inside and stretching exercises can help. A healthcare professional can also suggest exercise, medication or other coping strategies as seniors have risks in winter.
- Slips and Fall: Many seniors have decreased vision, muscle weakness, impaired hearing, slowed reflexes, poor balance, other types of disability while navigating in snow and ice. These factors increase the risk of falls that leads to injury and death in the elderly. Snow and ice increases the risk as one may have poor blood circulation. Awareness and precaution is extremely important to reduce the chance of a fall.
- Hypothermia: With aging, it becomes more difficult to maintain normal body temperature. Senior citizens or older people frequently have decreased blood flow, slower metabolism and illnesses that can cause them to lose their body heat. The result of these points is that colder weather increases the chance of developing hypothermia (low body temperature) a drop in core body temperature suddenly in seniors below 95°F. This may cause shivering, stiffness in limbs, blurred vision, hearing problems, sleepiness, slurred speech, abnormal heart rhythms and if not treated – death.
- Heart issues: Heart attacks and high blood pressure are more common in winter because cold snaps increase blood pressure and create more strain on the heart. The heart must work harder to maintain body heat, while falling temperatures may cause an unhealthy rise in high blood pressure in seniors and thus get them out of the cold, and wrap them with warm clothing.