Written by Michele Ellis-Williams
At Astin Home Care, we know that winter can be a dangerous season for our seniors, especially those who are sickly or unwell. True, extremely cold temperatures can make anyone sick regardless of age or health condition, but seniors tend to run a greater risk of injuries and health complications related to cold weather. For example, cases of high blood pressure and heart attacks in seniors are more common in cold weather seasons like winter. This is because cold weather increases blood pressure and forces the heart to work harder in a bid to maintain body heat.
Hypothermia is another condition that can affect seniors when their body temperature gets too low. If not treated immediately, hypothermia can cause serious damages to vital body organs including the brain, liver, lungs, and kidneys. It can also lead to death. Other conditions that can affect a senior during winter and other cold seasons include frostbite, painful joints, influenza, and winter depression.
With such risks, it is important for everyone involved in a senior’s life to do all they can to ensure their loved one remains safe and warm this winter. Taking precautions will reduce the risks we have discussed (and others we have not addressed) and allow our seniors to not only survive the season but to enjoy it as well.
At Astin Home Care, we strongly recommend that seniors, especially the sickly ones, to have someone responsible with them at all times during winter and other cold months. That will help ensure they are safe at all times and more so in the case of a power outage, heater breakdown, or any other emergency.
Also, it is important to mention that there are some medical conditions that can make it hard for a senior to be aware that he/she is getting unusually cold. In such cases, a serious condition like hyperthermia can occur even without the senior realizing it.
Of course, we understand that family members can’t be there all the time. That’s why we recommend professional, round-the-clock winter care for seniors and more so for those that are sickly and live alone.
At Astin Home Care, we work as a team to ensure all seniors under our care remain warm and safe during winter months – from management, all the way to our Registered Nurses, Supervisors, Caregivers, client’s family/representatives and his/her healthcare provider.
Our caregivers/senior sitters are highly responsible and understand perfectly how extreme weather conditions like winter can affect an elderly person. Some of the things they have been trained to do when providing care to seniors during winter include but are not limited to:
- Making sure that the home is sufficiently warm and well-insulated at all times.
- Making sure the senior is always warmly dressed, especially when outdoors or sleeping.
- Making sure the senior is well-fed and adequately hydrated.
- Helping the senior with light exercises based on the recommendations of his/her healthcare provider.
- Safety precautions and first aid.
- Assistance with non-medical tasks like light housekeeping, laundry, cooking, shopping and errands, and medication reminders.
- And more.
All in all, the very first benefit that comes with hiring an experienced caregiver or in-home care aide for your elderly loved one this winter is the peace of mind that can only come with knowing your loved one is under the observation and care of a highly trained and responsible person throughout the season.
Astin Home Care
770-790-0012 ext. 1