The Cold Facts on How Winter Weather Affects Seniors

Home Care in Toronto – How Winter Weather Affects Seniors

It’s true – Canada is one of the countries in the world with the most severe winter climates. Weather conditions across the country during winter months can bring extreme cold, dangerous wind chill factors, blizzard conditions, freezing rain, snow dumps and more. Despite these conditions, Canadians can learn to stay safe, survive and even thrive in these chilling months.

Extreme cold can cause frostbite and hypothermia.   Another health risk in cold weather is windburn. It can occur when a cold wind strips the top layer of protective oil from the skin. The result is soreness, redness, excessive dryness and itchiness. The group most at risk are seniors, age 65 or older.

According to Health Canada, some of the ways to reduce your risk and protect yourself from extreme cold include:

  • Always wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation. Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk.
  • Dress in layers with a wind resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm (before you start sweating) or add a layer if you get cold.
  • Wear warm socks, gloves, a hat and scarf in cold weather. Be sure to put a scarf over your nose to protect it.
  • If you get wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. You lose heat faster when you’re wet.
  • Pay attention to weather alerts in your area. Special weather statements and warnings are issued when extreme weather is possible in your area.
  • Environment Canada issues wind chill alerts to warn you of conditions that will cause frostbite to exposed skin.

More information is available at:

Seniors are encouraged to make sure their homes are well-insulated, they have enough food, medication and other necessities so they can stay indoors during severely cold weather. When supplies run out, friends or family members can assist by going out to purchase them.

Consider hiring home care services so your elderly loved one has some assistance during these bitterly cold months. The caregiver can go grocery shopping, run errands and make sure the house is warm. If your loved one has to go out for a doctor’s appointment or other necessary reason, her caregiver can make sure she is bundled up warm and has help to get to her destination and return home safe again.

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


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