Cold weather can be especially hard on older adults as they are more vulnerable to the chilly temperatures and health risks associated with cold weather. It’s important to understand how cold weather can affect your loved ones in order to stay safe and healthy during the winter months. We’ll explore some of the ways that cold weather can affect them. Read on to find out more.
Frostbite is an especially grave concern for older adults as the ability to detect extreme cold decreases with age, leaving them more vulnerable. Cold temperatures sap the body’s energy stores and cause blood vessels to constrict, further lowering a senior’s internal temperature. Failure to recognize the signs of frostbite such as damp, aching feet and hands, tingling sensations in extremities, or redness and blistering, may cause serious medical risk. Thus, proper attire and clothing layering are essential when venturing out into freezing weather. Furthermore, it’s important to stay aware of possible warning signs and take precautionary measures when needed in order to ensure optimal health during colder climates.
Hypothermia is a particularly dangerous condition as it can do serious damage to the body in a short amount of time. It doesn’t take long for elderly individuals to feel the effects of hypothermia, and once it sets in, they are at risk of complications such as irregular heartbeats, confusion, and fatigue. It’s important for those with elderly family members to be aware of symptoms so that they can take quick action before serious harm is done. Those caring for senior citizens should also strive to keep their homes properly heated when temperatures drop outdoors as this helps prevent hypothermia from taking hold in the first place.
Winter depression can have a particularly detrimental impact on your aged parents. Older adults may be more susceptible to the negative side effects of decreased daylight hours, cold weather, or increasing social isolation during the colder months. Symptoms of winter depression can include increased sadness and loneliness, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, lack of interest in day-to-day activities, difficulty concentrating, feeling overwhelmed, and irritability. Those who experience these symptoms should seek help from a physician or mental health provider as soon as possible. If untreated, winter depression can lead to serious health issues.
Wintertime can be a real struggle for your loved ones, especially when it comes to their joints. Osteoarthritis has the ability to cause discomfort and pain in a number of places within the body such as knees, lower back, and hands. With cold weather comes increased inflammation and stiffening of joints which can contribute to an overall increase in pain felt by those with osteoarthritis. Combined with colder temperatures and less physically active lifestyles, these hardships can take a toll on an already aging body. It is important to understand that although the winter season brings with it extra challenges, there are still certain things your loved ones can do to manage the pain associated with painful joints this time of year.