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Three Tips to Prepare for Colder Weather

It’s officially the fall season–the leaves are changing, the holidays are approaching, and the weather is cooling down. For many people, the quick switch from comfortable to chilly weather isn’t that big of a deal, but for our elderly loved ones, maintaining a healthy body temperature is paramount to their wellbeing.

As we age, we experience the loss of body heat faster than in our younger years. Elderly people are at risk for hypothermia, heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse when their body temperature dips below 95°F. 

Here are three major tips to share with our elderly loved ones to ensure they are warm and healthy at home in preparation for the changing seasons. 

1. Get Smart About Space

  • Set the temperature to at least 68–70°F.
  • Close off rooms that are not in use to conserve heat in the main living areas.
  • Roll up towels to place under doors and windows to keep out cool drafts.
  • Close curtains or install weather stripping to keep cold air out.
  • Look into heated blankets* for when the temperature dips in the evenings.

2. Dress for Success

  • Layer your clothing, even if you are staying inside.
  • Utilize throw blankets, thick socks, and in-home footwear like slippers.
  • Invest in thick pajamas and extra covers for when it’s time for bed.
  • Add a hat or scarf to your outfit if your ears or neck are particularly cold.

3. Watch What You Eat

  • A balanced diet is important all year round, but maintaining a healthy weight with sufficient body fat will help you stay warm.
  • Decrease your alcohol and caffeine intake, as they can make you lose body heat.
  • Drink plenty of water and warm beverages throughout the day.
  • If possible, add movement to your daily routine to generate body heat.

Now is the time to prepare your elderly loved ones for the changing seasons. If your loved ones live alone, think about organizing a support system with friends or family members to check on each other during particularly cold weather. Having an emergency plan in place for power outages or particularly dangerous storms can protect your elderly loved ones from injury or illness.

* Make sure you choose a heated blanket with an automatic-off-switch for safety purposes. 

Willow River is Here to Help

At Willow River, we understand the challenges that Alzheimer’s and dementia can bring. If you have questions or need help, Willow River has the answers and resources you need. Call Willow River Senior Living at 888-546-1886 or contact us through our website to start the conversation today.