Seniors are at heightened risk of hypothermia, the medical term for low body temperature.
Older adults lose body heat faster than when they were younger, the U.S. National Institute on Aging says.
Hypothermia occurs when a person’s body temperature drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Typical warning signs include slowed or slurred speech, sleepiness or confusion, shivering or stiffness in the arms and legs, poor control over body movements, slow reactions or a weak pulse.
The agency suggests how to prevent hypothermia in older adults:
- Some prescription and over-the-counter meds may increase your risk for hypothermia. Ask your doctor if this pertains to you.
- Set your home’s thermostat to at least 68 degrees.
- To stay warm at home, wear long underwear under your clothes, along with socks and slippers. Use a blanket to keep your legs and shoulders warm.
- When going outside in the cold, wear a hat, scarf, gloves, along with several layers of loose clothing to trap warm air between the layers.
- Carry a fully charged cellphone when you go out, and let someone know when you’re venturing outside.