Hypothermia refers to when a person loses more body heat than the heat being produced by the body. Causing health problems such as kidney and liver damage, hypothermia is common as we age as our body’s ability to manage the cold is diminished due to medication or aging itself. As a result, even minute exposures to the cold or small dips in temperature can result in our body’s suffering from hypothermia. Did you know that people suffering from hypothermia would actually remove their clothing instead of putting more on? This phenomenon is referred to as ‘paradoxical undressing’ and further worsens the health of the patient if this urge is not resisted. Taking all the above into account, how can we help our loved ones in dealing with hypothermia?
While the ideal room temperature for an elderly individual would vary from person to person, 68F would be generally considered a safe room temperature for most aging adults. Consider setting the temperature to between 68 to 70F and leave reminders around the house to keep the temperature within this range, as this would go a long way in reducing the risk of hypothermia among seniors. Consider modifying the apartment with weather stripping to minimize cold drafts, keep the basement door closed, and cover drafts with rolled-up towels to reduce the risk of hypothermia. You can also install heat insulation on the doors or use plastic window coverings on the windows to maintain the room temperature at an ideal range.
Wearing a sweater or flannel shirt indoors should also be considered a way of dealing with hypothermia. Blankets and hats can be worn indoors to keep the body warm, along with pieces of clothing such as long underwear or socks. When going outdoors, ensure that your loved one wears hat, scarf, and gloves to prevent heat loss from the head and hands. A hat would be of utmost importance as a significant amount of body heat is lost through the head. Layers of loose clothing can also help trap air, keeping your loved one warm and toasty and safe from the chills of hypothermia. Also, ensure they keep their mobile devices with them when they leave the house so that they can contact you if they encounter any issues outside.
Certain medications, such as beta-blockers, certain sedatives, anti-depressants, and general anesthetics, are known to contribute to hypothermia. Check with a doctor if these medications would affect your loved one’s metabolic response or awareness of the cold.
Give Your Loved Ones The Care They Deserve
Hypothermia is a real threat that affects all of our loved ones as they age. Consider seeking professional help here at Regency Pointe. Our professional team is well-equipped with the necessary skills and we have top-quality amenities to ensure the well-being of your loved ones. If you are seeking a vibrant community for your loved ones to call home, our community at Regency Pointe is the ideal place. Feel free to contact us for any further information!