Did you ever hear a parent tell a child to put on a coat before they catch a cold? That’s because just being really cold can make you very sick, and it’s not limited to kids. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) says older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what’s happening. NIA has a brochure, Stay Safe in Cold Weather! with tips on how to stay warm when it’s cold. Here are a few of the tips they recommend:
- Set your heat at 68 degrees or higher.
- Dress warmly on cold days even if you are staying in the house.
- Wear loose layers when you go outside on chilly days. Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.
- Don’t stay out in the cold and wind for a long time.
- Talk to your doctor about health problems that may make it harder for you to keep warm.
- Find safe ways to stay active even when it’s cold outside.
- Ask a neighbor or friend to check on you if you live alone.
- If you think someone has hypothermia, call 911 right away. Cover him or her with a blanket. Don’t rub his or her legs or arms.
For more tips including keeping warm inside and how to talk with your doctor about staying safe in cold weather, check out the Stay Safe in Cold Weather Booklet from NIA