Helping Your Aging Loved One Avoid Hypothermia

happy-senior-couple-bundled-up-outdoorsWhen people are exposed to cold weather, they can develop a condition known as hypothermia. This means that the body temperature falls below what is considered normal. While a healthy body temperature is around 98.6 degrees, hypothermia occurs when the body reaches a temperature of around 95. If this situation is not treated quickly, it could prove fatal.

According to recent studies from the CDC, the number of people dying from hypothermia continues to grow. The majority of people who pass away are over the age of 65. Because their circulation decreases, seniors are more susceptible to hypothermia. Add in the fact that certain medications make it difficult to regulate a senior’s body temperature, and you will understand why this is a more common issues amongst seniors.

If you want to help a loved one avoid hypothermia, you should be aware of the following steps that are going to help them remain healthy as the weather becomes colder.

Step #1 – Be Aware Of The Symptoms

Shivering is one of the first warning signs of hypothermia. However, if this problem continues untreated, there is a point that people stop shaking altogether. A few of the symptoms that someone with mild hypothermia may show include fatigue, rapid breathing, difficulty speaking, confusion, nausea, and dizziness.

Step #2 – Know How To React

If your loved one is experiencing hypothermia, it is important that you know what to do and take action quickly. The first thing to do is to call 9-1-1. After that, if your loved one is not indoors, move them indoors as quickly as possible. It is important to know that jarring or sudden movements could lead to irregular heartbeats, so avoid these shocking movements as much as possible.

If they have wet clothing, it is imperative that you remove this as you are waiting for medical assistance to arrive. Warm beverages (both decaffeinated and nonalcoholic) are good ways to warm the body quickly and safely. Placing a warm blanket around them is always going to be beneficial as well.

Step #3 – Be Aware Of Their Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions could make someone more prone to developing hypothermia. A few of these include severe arthritis, a history of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and hypothyroidism. Both dehydration and poor nutrition can have negative effects as well.

Peace of mind

One of the reasons that so many family members enjoy peace of mind at the facilities offered at is because they know they know that even if the weather turns bad, there will be professional and courteous staff members at these assisted living facilities that look after their loved one.

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