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Old and Cold in Winter in Assisted Living Care

Old and Cold in Winter I Assisted Living Care

We, at Alfredhouse Assisted Living Care understand that winter is a vulnerable time for the elderly people, especially when dementia is involved. Statistics over the last several years reflect that those over the age of 65 are at a higher mortality risk from cold-related conditions in the winter than the rest of the population. Those over 85 the risk is even higher, with actual death rates at about 1.5 per 100,000 in contrast to 0.5 per 100,000 for the general population.

 

The medical term for the condition of low body temperature that results from prolonged exposure to cold is “hypothermia.” Hypothermia sets in when the body temperature drops below 95° F. For the average healthy human body, this is serious enough, but in the elderly population it can cause liver damage and kidney problems, and may even induce a heart attack.

 

It is important to understand why the elderly people are at a higher risk of experiencing hypothermia. As the human body ages, it becomes less efficient at regulating body temperature. The skin becomes less sensitive to temperature variations, and the brain, therefore, does not receive accurate information regarding how cold the external environment really is. Thus, the elderly person may not feel “cold,” even when the outside temperature is dangerously low. Also, the elderly people tend to have a lower body-mass index than the average adult, and smaller bodies tend to lose heat more quickly than larger bodies.

 

To add to these age-related factors, many elderly people have medical conditions that may affect body temperature. Thyroid problems can affect the body’s ability to maintain normal body temperature. Diabetes can affect the normal flow of blood, which is essential in keeping the body warm. Parkinson’s Disease and arthritis can affect motor functions and thus prevent the person from taking steps to get out of the cold or dress warmly or use a blanket. Dementia can cause the elderly people to forget that they have not dressed warmly enough for the cold temperatures that they will be exposed to. In addition, the elderly are often on medications for various age-related and other illnesses, and these medications—even medication for the common cold—can affect the way the body regulates heat and reacts to low temperatures.

 

Besides these physiological factors, there are psychosocial factors that make the elderly people more vulnerable. Many elderly people live on a fixed income and tend to economize; they lower their indoor heating environment which results in hypothermia. The problem of a dangerously cold indoor environment is often compounded by the fact that many elderly live in isolation, and there are no younger people around to notice that the living space is not warm enough. Finally, many elderly people, especially those in their late 60s and early 70s do not think of themselves as “old” and thus tend to underestimate the danger they are in. This goes hand-in-hand with the attitude among many elderly people that they have lived a long life, have gone through many harsh and adverse experiences, and can therefore “tough it out” as they did in their young days.

 

If you have elderly members in your family or in your social circle, it is important to be aware that they are more vulnerable in winter than the average person.

 

AlfredHouse Assisted Living Care wishes all its patrons and members of the community a safe and happy holiday season. We offer not just affordable Senior Housing in US, but make sure that all our residents live cosily, safely and comfortably.

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“I wanted to thank you all for the wonderful, loving care that my mother received during her stay at AlfredHouse...
AlfredHouse Assisted Living, Inc.
2017-09-26T16:59:12+00:00
“I wanted to thank you all for the wonderful, loving care that my mother received during her stay at AlfredHouse Florence.” Linda Colarco

“We want to express our gratitude for the loving care, attention, and peaceful environment that AlfredHouse provided Bette during these...
AlfredHouse Assisted Living, Inc.
2017-09-26T16:59:23+00:00
“We want to express our gratitude for the loving care, attention, and peaceful environment that AlfredHouse provided Bette during these last four years. We are confident that you and your staff made her as comfortable and happy as possible under the circumstances. You have our deepest appreciation.” Cory Tylka

“This is an expression of my sincere appreciation for the excellent care that my spouse has received – especially while...
AlfredHouse Assisted Living, Inc.
2017-09-26T16:59:34+00:00
“This is an expression of my sincere appreciation for the excellent care that my spouse has received – especially while I was away. It would not be fair for me to single out any one person, for I feel that he has been treated kindly and professionally by everyone concerned. Again, I would like to extend my deepest thanks and appreciation to all.” LaVerne Glascoe

“One comes across angels in one’s life at the right time and in the right place. Shane, you are one...
AlfredHouse Assisted Living, Inc.
2017-09-26T16:59:47+00:00
“One comes across angels in one’s life at the right time and in the right place. Shane, you are one of those angels. You enhanced the quality of our dad’s final days and you provided unconditional support ‑ and you your time ‑ to us as we traveled an uncharted path. What more can we say than ‑ thank you once more.” Marilyn and Jerry

I would like to let you know that this home is one of the nicest, and most pleasant that I...
AlfredHouse Assisted Living, Inc.
2017-09-26T16:59:59+00:00
I would like to let you know that this home is one of the nicest, and most pleasant that I deal with. The residents always seem quite happy. It is always a pleasure to come here work with my patient.” Terry Elan, CP Home Prosthetic Care
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Visiting arrangements amid COVID-19

As the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection, the safety of our residents is of utmost priority. To reinforce protection, we have temporarily suspended all visits, including relatives and friends, unless there is an exceptional circumstance. We do not take this decision lightly; reducing visitors would mean reducing the possibility of infection and protecting the well-being of all our residents. We will continue to support our residents by keeping them in touch with loved ones via phone, video calls, letters and emails during this difficult time.

WE STAY APART BUT STAND TOGETHER. LET US ENSURE THAT WE SAIL THROUGH THESE TIMES TAKING ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS AND MEASURES.

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