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COLD SNAP PUTS SENIORS AT RISK

"Check on your friends and neighbors"

(3 Sections Below)

(1)   Seniors, and others, can be at serious risk during winter cold snaps. This is true for a variety of reasons. Consider these items:

  • 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 neighbors, as 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.

 

(2)   Some Specific Tips

TheBostonChannel.com

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 recommends:

* 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 www.liheap.ncat.org/profiles/energyhelp.htm.

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 CDC:

 

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Home Page
         Winter Weather  

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 Know

  • Winter Storm Facts
    Preparation information, including house & car checklists, emergency supplies, indoor & outdoor safety, travel…
  • Extreme Cold Prevention Guide
    Comprehensive resource that includes emergency supplies list, preparing your home & car, indoor & outdoor safety, travel, frostbite, hypothermia…

Resources for Health Professionals

  • NCEH's Health Studies Branch
    HSB is responsible for investigating human health effects associated with exposure to environmental hazards…

 

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