By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions
The Weather Channel is predicting that Mother Nature will have a split personality this winter. Overall, The Weather Channel says we can expect cold and wet conditions in parts of the northern states and warm and dry conditions across the southern tier of the country.
The greatest risk of colder temperatures will be in early winter, according to the long-range forecast for December through February.
Cold weather can cause hypothermia, says the National Institute on Aging. Older adults are among those who are especially vulnerable because of a diminished ability to endure long periods of exposure to cold temperatures. Older adults often make less body heat because their metabolisms are slower and because they are less physically active. Certain diseases such as diabetes, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s Disease, arthritis and some medications, including over-the-counter cold remedies, can make it harder for your body to stay warm.
Some older adults can even develop hypothermia after exposure to relatively mild cold weather or a small drop in temperature.
With hypothermia, your body temperature drops to dangerously low levels. Among older adults, significant health problems can occur when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Hypothermia can cause a heart attack, problems with your kidneys and damage to your liver. It can cost you your life.
Based on information from the National Institute on Aging and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here are some things you can do.
10 Things You Can Do
Signs of Hypothermia
If you think someone has signs of hypothermia, call 911 and get medical attention immediately.
Until medical help arrives, get the person into a warm room or shelter. Wrap the person in a blanket. Warm the center of the body first. Do not rub the person’s arms or legs, do not use a heating pad, and do not try to warm the person in a bath.
Keep in mind that during cold weather emergencies our assisted living communities serve as warming shelters for older adults. Click here for a list of communities.