Home Care Awareness: Immediate Response When Seniors Get Too Cold

Home Care in Markham

As the months dwindle toward the end of the year and the weather starts changing, it is time to turn the focus of your home care efforts toward helping your aging loved ones handle the cold temperatures that come along with the late fall and winter seasons. Though many family caregivers Home-Care-Markhamfocus much of their attention and concern during this time of year toward preventing serious injuries from incidents such as falls on the ice and snow, or home fires caused by fireplaces or cooking, one very serious threat that should be at the forefront of your mind throughout the coldest months of the year is hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a condition when your body loses heat and gets to an abnormally low body temperature. Seniors are at particularly high risk of this issue because their bodies get cold more easily, are less capable of warming themselves through natural means, and they may not detect the feelings of being too cold. This can lead to a very dangerous situation.

Something very important to realize is that while the majority of cases of hypothermia occur in instances of exposure to very cold temperatures, such as being locked outside during a snowy night or hiking through a forest, hypothermia can happen in temperatures even above 40 degrees when other factors exist, such as if the person gets wet from submersion, rain, snow, or sweat. This means that even if it does not feel extremely cold to you, your parents may fall victim to hypothermia.


Signs of hypothermia that you and your parents’ home care provider should look out for throughout the cold months include:

• Shivering

• Exhaustion

• Confusion

• Memory loss

• Suddenly seeming uncoordinated or fumbling

• Drowsiness

• Slurred speech


If you notice any of these symptoms in a senior who has recently been exposed to cold, take his temperature. If it has dropped below 95 degrees, it is an emergency situation and you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

If the senior’s temperature is 95 or above, or while you are waiting for medical attention to arrive, work on warming up your loved one’s body temperature. Some ways that you can do this include:

• Move the person to a warmer room or somewhere away from drafts

• Remove any wet clothing the person is wearing

• Focus on warming the center of the person’s body first. This means layering blankets, towels, or anything that is accessible on the chest, groin, head, and neck to work the body temperature up as quickly as possible

• Offer warm beverages only if the person is fully conscious and coherent. Do not offer alcoholic beverages or try to offer liquids to a person who is slipping in and out of consciousness

• Keep the person wrapped in a blanket, including the head and neck, even after his body temperature has gone back up.


Get in touch with the elder care agency in your area to find out more about how to keep your aging loved ones safe in the cold weather, and about hiring an in home health care services provider who can help you care for your seniors with a personalized care approach designed with their specific needs in mind.


If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Markham, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.


About Susan Di Michele

We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in improving health and wellness of individuals, their families, and communities. Through nurturance, gentleness and compassion, our team strives to shine a light on what it takes to be role models of caring practice.
Our mission is to support a society in which respect for the rights and dignity of people is a practical reality in all areas of life, where discrimination is a thing of the past, and where a positive view of ill and aging people prevails. We strive to ensure that every individual is informed, supported and encouraged to embrace a lifestyle that has continued meaning, purpose and value. Together these actions genuinely empower and respect individuals’ abilities to make independent choices based on their personal interests, capacities and needs.
The most important of all is “CARE”. We care about the people we serve. Our focus is to treat everyone with respect and dignity they deserve. Our vision is to provide excellence in health care for all those we serve.

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