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Know the Risks of Hypothermia

As winter approaches, the weather in many locations begins to change and temperatures start to drop. But not only are the outside temperatures dropping, your body temperature can drop, too. According to MedicineNet, hypothermia occurs when your core body temperature drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

Seniors are more susceptible to hypothermia than children and other adults as their bodies don’t hold heat as well. While shivering may signal that your body is cold and is trying to warm up, it isn’t always a sign of hypothermia.

Stay safer by learning these 6 risks of hypothermia:

Chilly temperatures

Hypothermia doesn’t only occur when you’re outside in cold temperatures. You can get hypothermia inside if the temperature is too low and you aren’t adequately dressed. If you’re chilly, stay bundled up, whether you are inside or out.

Medications

The National Institute on Aging recommends that you check with your doctor or pharmacist about potential increase risk of hypothermia that may be caused by some prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.

Nutrition

Poor nutrition adds to the risk of hypothermia. Not eating well means you might have less fat to act as an insulator. Maintain a healthy weight by consuming enough calories!

Dehydration

Staying hydrated is particularly important during the winter because dehydration increases risk of hypothermia. Drink plenty of water. Consume alcohol in moderation and not at all if you’re headed out into the cold. Alcoholic drinks can cause you to lose body heat, making you more susceptible to hypothermia.

Lower metabolic rate

Certain medical conditions—such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and hypothyroidism —can affect your body’s ability to regulate body temperature. You also may notice that as you’ve gotten older, your metabolism has slowed down. This makes it difficult to maintain a normal body temperature if the room temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Exhaustion

The more tired you are, the lower your tolerance for cold. It’s important to get enough sleep during the night and to find time to nap during the day if you aren’t feeling well or if you’re extra tired.

Senior living communities have procedures in place to care for residents who may be experiencing hypothermia. And at Life Care Services, we help seniors stay safe not just during the winter months—but year-round. Contact Life Care Services to schedule a tour at the community nearest you.

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