Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When Jack Frost Howls, Take Cover --- Even Indoors Hypothermia Alert For Older People Disease

Date:
February 1, 2000
Source:
National Institute On Aging
Summary:
Chilly air and blustery winds can be deadly cold, especially for older people who are at higher risk for hypothermia than are young adults. Hypothermia is a below-normal body temperature, typically 96 Fahrenheit or lower. Surprisingly, hypothermia can threaten the health of older people in cool indoor temperatures such as 60F to 65F.

Chilly air and blustery winds can be deadly cold, especially for older people who are at higher risk for hypothermia than are young adults.

Related Articles


Hypothermia is a below-normal body temperature, typically 96 Fahrenheit or lower. Surprisingly, hypothermia can threaten the health of older people in cool indoor temperatures such as 60F to 65F. As people age, they may lose their natural ability to keep warm in the cold, and inactivity, illness, and certain medications make it even more difficult.

“Usually we think of hypothermia as something that happens to people outdoors,” says Dr. Terrie Wetle, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). “It is important to know that some older people may have a dangerous drop in body temperature inside their own home.”

According to Dr. Wetle, elderly poor people are at an increased risk for hypothermia because they may keep indoor temperatures low to save on heating costs.

Signs of hypothermia include any unusual change in behavior, confusion, sleepiness, clumsiness, slurred speech and shallow breathing. The sure way to detect hypothermia is by taking a person's temperature. A temperature below 96F will not register on many oral thermometers. If the temperature reading is at or below 96F, call 911 immediately.

Hypothermia can be prevented. The NIA recommends that if you are an older person you should:

* Find out if you are at risk. Ask your doctor if the prescription or over-the-counter drugs you take can affect body temperature regulation.

* Dress warmly in layers of clothing even when indoors. Hypothermia can occur in bed, so wear warm clothing to bed and use blankets.

* Ask friends or neighbors to look in once or twice a day if you live alone. See if your local community has a telephone check-in or personal visit service.

* Use alcohol moderately, if at all. And avoid alcohol altogether near bedtime. Eat hot foods and drink hot liquids to raise your body temperature and keep warm.

* Set the thermostat in your home at least 68F - 70F in living or sleeping areas. Ask your doctor if you should set your thermostat higher.

* Look into fuel-assistance programs and home winterization programs. Your local utility company or area office on aging often has an assistance program.

For a list of free brochures and booklets about aging and health topics of interest to older people, call the NIA Information Center at (800) 222-2225, or visit the NIA website: http://www.nih.gov/nia


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute On Aging. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute On Aging. "When Jack Frost Howls, Take Cover --- Even Indoors Hypothermia Alert For Older People Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000201070607.htm>.
National Institute On Aging. (2000, February 1). When Jack Frost Howls, Take Cover --- Even Indoors Hypothermia Alert For Older People Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000201070607.htm
National Institute On Aging. "When Jack Frost Howls, Take Cover --- Even Indoors Hypothermia Alert For Older People Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000201070607.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins