Snow is beautiful, and rain also has its beauty. But what should you do when the weather gets cold? It is a problem for many older adults. But there are solutions to this problem. In this two-part article, I want to talk about the methods of caring for the elderly in the cold seasons of the year.
Changes in the elderly and how to care for them
With age, the elderly body no longer has the energy of its youth; in other words, they feel fragile. This period of the elderly’s life, which is probably accompanied by other diseases, can make some days unbearable. These changes are not limited to their body and can include different aspects of their soul. Many people become withdrawn and feel depressed in their old age. For this reason, you should pay more attention to them.
The elderly body is more vulnerable than the young and middle-aged. That is why seniors need more care. A situation may arise for them that environmental changes and weather conditions will intensify this issue. Usually, in the cold seasons of the year, due to weather conditions, it is more likely that the elderly will face various diseases. Also, colds and similar problems are more common in these seasons, which require more attention.
Why is it important to stay healthy in winter for the elderly?
As the temperature drops, our seniors must take extra precautions to maintain their health. A healthy lifestyle helps them avoid health-related ailments commonly seen in the winter months. Here are some diseases you can prevent by following preventive measures in winter.
Reducing the body heat of the elderly in winter
Usually, with age, people’s bodies have less tolerance for cold because the rate of metabolism in the elderly body decreases compared to the youth. As a result, the body produces less heat, making it difficult to bear the cold. This decrease in body temperature may continue and lead to a severe problem called hypothermia. Hypothermia causes other acute issues such as heart attack, kidney problems and even death.
The decrease in body temperature, especially in the cold seasons of the year, may come to a person with a series of initial symptoms. The elderly can face confusion, slow movement, and sleepiness. Also, this person’s muscles may be stiff or stutter.
The physical condition of the elderly varies, and due to various diseases, their physical condition fluctuates. So, a person may not notice the changes in his body temperature very well. Also, if your elderly are alone at home, they may not see it and face more severe risks. Most of these elderly have little mobility, and such a lifestyle can cause them to be more injured against the cold.
On the other hand, the elderly usually struggle with various diseases, which may not allow a person to understand the feeling of cold well. Among these diseases, I can mention diabetes, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and memory problems. In this situation, you must inform your doctor so that he can improve their condition with a correct diagnosis.
What are the signs of a decrease in body temperature?
Certain signs and symptoms appear when a person’s body temperature drops. Among these symptoms that intensify in the elderly in the cold seasons of the year, I can mention cold hands, feet, and pale face. Usually, in cold conditions, a person’s body shivers, and his face becomes puffy.
But if this decrease in body temperature continues, the person will show more symptoms. For example, he hardly moves his arms and legs, making it difficult for him to move. In this condition, the heart rate slows, and breathing is shallow and slow. In some cases, this problem may become severe, and the person may experience extreme lethargy and lose consciousness. It is better to take care of your elderly condition quickly.
Preventing the elderly body temperature from decreasing in winter
When the temperature drops and we are in the cold seasons of the year, the elderly should stay home for more time and leave the house only when necessary. It is the surest way to keep them healthy. But when they need to leave the house, they should return to a warm environment faster and not be outside for a long time. Also, wear appropriate clothes. Using several layers of thin clothes can give them more warmth than one layer of thick clothes.
If the weather conditions are such that it is raining and your senior may get wet, bring him back indoors immediately. Getting wet, in addition to lowering the body temperature, causes his body to shiver. Also, if your senior is resting at home, ask him to wear another thin dress under his clothes and slippers. If he still feels cold, he can throw a blanket over his legs or shoulder.
The muscles of the elderly deteriorate in old age and have a lower metabolism than in the past. You should pay attention to your elderly to have proper nutrition. This issue becomes more critical in the cold seasons of the year because the body needs more metabolism to maintain its heat.
Please pay special attention to the heating devices and their temperature in the residence of the elderly. Also, these people may take many medicines due to various diseases that come to them at this age. Please pay attention to the effects of these drugs on your body and consult the relevant doctor in case of any disorder or problem. In the cold seasons of the year, pay more attention to bathing your elderly. Ask him to wear warm clothes and blankets after the bath.
What is frostbite?
The cold seasons of the year and feeling cold can cause another problem called frostbite for the elderly. Frostbite, which has different degrees, can have other effects and symptoms in the body of the elderly.
Appearance symptoms are usually visible on the nose, fingers, ears, cheeks and chin.
These organs may become red or painful.
The skin becomes hard or waxy in this condition and turns yellow or gray.
These changes also have internal signs and symptoms. Heart problems and blood flow may be disturbed in older adults, which can cause more severe health risks. For this reason, whenever you have to leave the house, take care of yourself by wearing appropriate clothes. Return home if you feel pain or burning in your skin and it looks red. Over time, these irritations may appear as blisters on your skin. In severe cases, this burning causes a black colour in some skin, so you must visit a specialist doctor.