CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) — While you’re out braving the wind and bitter cold temperatures, remember to keep your older family member’s health in mind too.
As we age, our bodies become more sensitive to cold temperatures. According to the National Institute on Aging, the older you get the faster your body loses heat making you more prone to getting hypothermia. For older Iowans this means bundling up, even indoors.
Jessica Fairbanks of Home Care Assistance in Cedar Falls has a few tips to keep in mind to protect your older family members’ health and safety during the cold, winter months.
If you have to go outside, make sure that your older family members have the right gear to brave the snow and ice. Fairbanks suggests the works: hats, gloves, socks, and boots.
Watch out for icy paths
With the cold and snow, also comes ice. Your older family members are more at risk of falling during the winter months, so if they do have to leave the house, try to go with them to assist in walking through snow and ice. If you can’t be there to assist them, make sure they have proper equipment to help them get around.
“If you have a cane or walker, even if you haven’t used it in a while using that for some stability to kind of gauge in case you do get a little uneasy on your feet,” Fairbanks suggests.
While your older family members may have to venture out of their homes at some point during the winter, try to limit this as much as possible. Reschedule their non-emergency appointments for when the temperatures get warmer.