Almost 1,200 Americans die every year during the winter due to cold weather. People from the media outlets are always preoccupied with natural disasters, such as tornadoes, floods, lightning, storms, and hurricanes, but winter is nearly as deadly, and it’s coming our way. Cold temperatures pose a severe health hazard for older adults, not only for them but for all age groups. So low temperatures carry many dangers, and here we are going to talk about them. Also, we are going to give you tips on how to help your elderly loved ones during the winter times.
Get Flu Shots
First things first. The flu is not considered a dangerous illness, but when you are older than 65, it becomes one. With age, our immune system gets weaker. Because of this, when flu hits during the winter, almost 90% of recorded deaths are seniors over 65. The case is the same with all people that get hospitalized during flu season. If you want to make sure that your loved one is safe from this illness, it would be wise to get them vaccinated.
What accompanies winter is ice. Because of this, if walkways are not adequately cleared, the elderly are in danger of falls and severe injuries. For older adults, every fall can produce grave harm, but falling on a hard icy surface will almost without a doubt hospitalize them. As you probably know, falls are the leading cause of injuries in senior citizens in America. Head traumas, hip injuries, and lacerations can be life-threatening for seniors. According to statistics, every 20 minutes an elderly person in the United States will die due to a fall. Every 13 seconds, a senior will be injured from a fall. Shoveling walkways could prevent older adults from getting hurt, and it’s great exercise too.
Flu and falls are not the only dangers that lurk during the winter. Many seniors will spend cold and gray winter days in the comfort of their homes all by themselves. While this gives them some security, it can also lead to isolation, due to lack of socialization. Loneliness will follow, and it is never good to have this feeling if you are an older adult. Regardless of the season, seniors are the age group that is most prone to depression, and because of this, it is essential that you often check up on your elderly loved ones. It is not only recommended to spend time with them but also to check up if they need something else. Sometimes a simple visit can be the difference between life and death.
We don’t have to tell you that you need to stay warm during the winter. What we must tell you is that out of all hypothermia-related deaths recorded, 50% belongs to people older than 65. Because of this, it is crucial that seniors have adequate protection during cold winter months. Every senior should have multiple layers of clothes, including socks, a thick coat, a scarf, a pair of insulated gloves, and a warm hat. Of course, heating inside of the home is also necessary, so it’s good to know that certain states provide seniors with help to cover their heating bills.
Prepare for Outages
You can expect winter storms during the winter, and they often cause power outages. The best way to prepare for them is to have your loved one equipped with flashlights and communication devices such as cell phones. Also, seniors should have a radio that works on batteries so they can listen to news about weather and when electric power will be available again.
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