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Seniors, and others, can be at serious risk during winter cold
snaps. This is true for a variety of reasons. Consider these
Seniors cut back too far on thermostat
settings in order to save money.
Seniors may not realize how cold they
are actually becoming.
Seniors may be ill, isolated, and
unable to deal with heat requirements.
Many, including younger folks, may be
without proper heat in this economy. Many have lost jobs, or
have had utilities shut off.
Check on your friends and
individuals, or as churches or social groups. Remember---
seniors, and others, are proud people, and often hide the
fact that they cannot meet their heat needs, so don't take
"I'm OK" as a final answer.
Seniors: Stay Safe
During Cold-Weather Months
Content Provided By
Bankers Life And Casualty Company
Bankers Life and Casualty Company (ARA) - Information
is key to helping America's seniors successfully
navigate the cold weather months -- a time that can pose
a variety of health and safety challenges.
A common winter health problem is hypothermia, a
condition marked by a very low body temperature, usually
caused by being in the cold (indoors or outdoors) too
long. The American Geriatric Society Foundation for
Health in Aging explains that since older adults have
slower metabolisms, they tend to produce less body heat.
In addition, because of the way the body changes with
age, it's difficult for them to tell when temperatures
are too low. That's why it's important for seniors to
know how to stay warm outside as well as inside their
house or apartment.
When going outside, seniors are encouraged to:
* Dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
under their coat. This can keep warm air between the
layers of clothing.
* Use mittens instead of gloves. Mittens allow fingers
to touch each other and generate warmth.
* Wear a hat. Between 30 and 50 percent of body heat
loss occurs through the head. A scarf covering the mouth
and nose can protect the lungs.
For warmth indoors, the National Institute on Aging
* Closing blinds and curtains to prevent heat loss from
your home. Weather stripping or caulking around the
windows can keep cold air out.
* Keeping your thermostat set to 68 to 70 degrees.
* Wearing warm clothes during the day and using extra
blankets at night.
* Eating enough food to keep your weight up and to keep
heat inside your body.
Cold weather often equates to snow and ice; conditions
that can increase a senior's chances of falling.
"Falls threaten what seniors value the most -- their
independence," says Scott Perry, president of Bankers
Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health
insurer that focuses on serving the retirement needs of
the middle market. A study sponsored by Bankers Life and
Casualty showed that while the overall top fear of aging
was Alzheimer's disease, more than half the respondents
worried over losing their physical abilities as they
aged. Women in particular had a much higher fear of
falling than men.
Experts warn against the danger of winter falls by
encouraging seniors to:
* Wear non-skid boots.
* Pay attention to the walking surface by looking down
only with your eyes. Bowing your head forward could
cause a loss of balance.
* Keep sidewalks clear and apply salt or sand to icy
patches. (Ask a neighbor or relative to help.)
* Replace rubber tips on canes and other medical
equipment well before they're worn so they don't become
slippery when wet.
Low-income seniors who need help paying their heating
bills can check with the National Energy Assistance
Referral (NEAR). A listing of states and available
assistance programs can be obtained at
For more topics of interest, visit www.bankers.com and
click on "Senior Resources."
Courtesy of ARAcontent
(3) Below are some additional tips from the
A Cool Tip…
Taking preventive action is your best defense against
having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. By
preparing your home and car in advance for winter
emergencies, and by observing safety precautions during
times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk
of weather-related health problems.
What You Should
Winter Storm Facts
Preparation information, including house & car
checklists, emergency supplies, indoor & outdoor safety,
Extreme Cold Prevention Guide
Comprehensive resource that includes emergency supplies
list, preparing your home & car, indoor & outdoor
safety, travel, frostbite, hypothermia…