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  • Writer's pictureSunflower Home Health Care Services

How To Keep Your Seniors Safe and Warm During the Winter

Updated: Feb 24

Winter might be the most magical season with all its beloved holidays that bring families together, fluffy snow, and clean frosty air. However, it is also an extremely dangerous season, especially for seniors.

Our beloved older relatives and friends are not only particularly vulnerable to pneumonia, flu, and other diseases due to weakened immunity but can also easily get frostbite or get injured in a slip-and-fall accident.

Unfortunately, the consequences of all those diseases and injuries become particularly harsh and even fatal for senior citizens.

Global warming and climate change lead to winters that get more and more severe worldwide. Snow blizzards and extremely low temperatures are nowadays a distressing reality, even in regions that might have never had to deal with such extreme weather conditions before.

That is why it is particularly important to learn as much as possible about safety rules and ways to keep our seniors safe and warm during winter.


Winterizing the home

Seniors spend most of their time at home. That is why it is particularly important to make sure that the residence of your beloved ones is thoroughly prepared for the winter with its extreme temperatures, strong winds, and heavy snowfall.

First of all, check the roof and make sure that it will withstand heavy snowfall and gusty winter winds. It is very important to do it before the true winter weather arrives to be able to safely make all the necessary repairs. Also, make sure that ice and snow don`t build up on the roof during the winter.

Check the attic and ceiling thoroughly. If you notice any stains or signs of mould or other water damage, make sure to call a professional who will do all the necessary repairs and prevent further leaks and damage.

Make sure that the house is not losing heat through the windows, doors, or cracks in the floors or walls. Check and renew the insulation and consider winter caulking to keep the cold air and draft out.

At the same time, don`t forget about the importance of ventilation and normal air circulation in the house, especially if your senior relatives have and regularly use indoor fireplaces, gas and wood stoves, and gas appliances in the house. It is also best to regularly call a professional to make sure that all this equipment is safe and maintained properly to eliminate the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Every year about 400 Americans die from accidental gas poisoning trying to keep warm in their houses and cars in winter. When the temperatures go down, the risk of fatalities rises immensely, especially among seniors who may simply forget that they left the heaters running or may fall asleep in front of a burning fireplace.

Proper clothing

Remember that dressing up according to the season is much easier and safer than trying to keep warm using complicated, energy-consuming, and sometimes dangerous devices and equipment.

Just like infants, older people tend to lose body heat about 4 times faster than an average adult person due to weaker blood circulation and metabolism. Most of the heat is lost through the head. That is why it is best to put etiquette aside and have headwear on even inside the house at all times. Due to a higher risk of respiratory diseases for older people, wearing a warm scarf can also be a good idea.

Make sure that your senior relative wears several layers of clothes. Those layers should be loose and comfortable not only to let an older person move freely and prevent falls and injuries but also because the warm air between the layers of clothing will keep them warm longer.

Know the symptoms of hypothermia and prevent it before it is too late

Hypothermia is a very insidious condition. In many cases, its symptoms become obvious when it is too late, and low temperatures have caused severe damage to the senior`s body and health.

When body temperature drops below 95F (35C), it can lead to lung and liver damage or even a heart attack, even for an entirely healthy young adult. When it comes to seniors, hypothermia is particularly dangerous.

If you notice that your older relative has:

  • Very cold hands and feet;

  • Shivering;

  • Pale or even slightly bluish skin;

  • Swollen of puffy skin

Those are all early physical symptoms of hypothermia

. The condition also often has psychological symptoms such as:

  • Apathy, sleepiness, or vice versa, anger and anxiety;

  • Slow or slurred speech;

  • Delusions or even hallucinations.

If a senior person claims that they are hot, while you know for sure that the temperature in the room is low, it could be a severe symptom of hypothermia that indicates that the condition has already done serious damage and the person needs immediate qualified medical attention.

If you notice one or more of those symptoms in an older person next to you, make sure to keep them warm with additional layers of clothing, blankets, hot beverage, etc. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol. Having a short-term warming effect, they force the heart to beat harder, and therefore the body loses much more energy and heat.

If the symptoms continue or worsen, call 911 immediately.


Last but not least

the best way to keep our seniors safe and warm during the year is to be there for them as much as possible. A small draft or leak in the ceiling may seem insignificant but can cause severe damage. Left alone with the dangers of severe weather and cold, seniors have a much higher risk of getting sick, injured, or poisoned without even noticing the dangerous symptoms.

To ensure the safety of your elder beloved ones, you can always address the assistance of professional caregivers. Here at Sunflower Home Health Care Services, we guarantee that your beloved seniors are surrounded by loving care and professional assistance at all times. Contact us today and have peace of mind knowing that you trust your beloved relatives in the caring hands of qualified professionals.

Are you looking for home health care services in or around Philadelphia, PA?

If you are seeking senior in-home care for you or your loved one, then Sunflower Home Health Care Services is here for you. Our highly skilled team operates across Philadelphia and all surrounding counties, we pride ourselves on offering home care with a difference.

If you are unsure about whether or not your loved one is need of Home Care, click here to learn more about the top signs that your loved one may be in need of Home Care.

Our in-depth range of services can ensure you do not need to move your loved ones to a nursing home or other assisted living facility. We have a family-first approach, which means we treat everyone we work with as if they were part of our own family, giving you complete peace of mind that you or your loved ones are in the best care possible.

Sunflower Home Health Care Services offers a wide range of services including companionship, respite care, hospice care, taking vitals, housekeeping, meal prep, and other medical needs. So if you are looking for the very best care for yourself or your loved ones, get in touch with our team today.


#SunflowerHHCS #SafetyAtHome #SafetyforHomeCare #SeniorsinWinter

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