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Seniors Staying Safely Warm

Seniors Staying Safely Warm - According to the National Institute on Aging with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is important for older adults to pay attention to their heat during the winter months. With seniors, they can lose their body heat much quicker than when they were younger.

With aging, we just aren't as resilient as we were in our earlier years. Our skin texture changes, our muscles lose their tone and our hair falls out. So it is important to pay attention and make adjustment for our health and safety.

Whether outside or inside the danger of hypothermia can be real threat if not paying attention to the temperature. Even living in a nursing home, one can get hypothermia is the rooms are too cold. So pay attention to your room temperatures. A lot of times older adults, who are on a limited budget, may feel it necessary to keep temperatures low to save on energy costs. Even keeping the temps around 60 to 65 degrees can be unsafe.

According to the Institute on Aging, here are some tips for keeping warm in your home:

  1. Set your heat to at least 68–70°F. To save on heating bills, close off rooms you are not using. Close the vents and shut the doors in these rooms, and keep the basement door closed. Place a rolled towel in front of all doors to keep out drafts.
  2. Make sure your house isn't losing heat through windows. Keep your blinds and curtains closed. If you have gaps around the windows, try using weather stripping or caulk to keep the cold air out.
  3. Dress warmly on cold days even if you are staying in the house. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.
  4. When you go to sleep, wear long underwear under your pajamas, and use extra covers. Wear a cap or hat.
  5. Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you don't eat well, you might have less fat under your skin. Body fat helps you to stay warm.
  6. Drink alcohol moderately, if at all. Alcoholic drinks can make you lose body heat.
  7. Ask family or friends to check on you during cold weather. If a power outage leaves you without heat, try to stay with a relative or friend.

Be careful of using space heaters. Some space heaters are fire hazards and others can emit carbon monoxide poisoning. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has information on the use of space heaters. Read the following for more information: Reducing Fire Hazards for Portable Electric Heaters and Seven Highly Effective Portable Heater Safety Habits.

It is important each year to have your furnace system completely checked by iRepair Heating and Air, by calling 801-233-1564.

For More Information About Cold Weather Safety

Eldercare Locator
800-677-1116 (toll-free)

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
National Energy Assistance Referral Hotline (NEAR)
866-674-6327 (toll-free)

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Consumer Product Safety Commission
800-638-2772 (toll-free)              
301-595-7054 (TTY)

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Sandy, UT 84070
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