Weather extremes happen throughout the year. In the winter, cold temperatures can be dangerous if the power goes out for an extended period of time. When your parent lives alone, a lengthy power outage can be dangerous. A cold house can lead to more than burst pipes and frozen water supplies, it also puts your mom at risk of hypothermia.
Hypothermia occurs when a body temperature reading shows less than 95. As your body cools down, it affects the organs. Your heart and respiratory system can shut down. Symptoms of hypothermia start with shivering and extend into lethargy, a weaker pulse, changes to breathing, confusion, and eventual loss of consciousness.
If the power is out and the room temperature is dropping, there are ways your mom can keep warm. Use as many as are needed to make sure her core body temperature does not decrease.
Pile on the Blankets and Cover Exposed Skin.
Have plenty of blankets on hand. Your mom should be in dry clothes. If they’re damp for any reason, she needs to change. She wants to be in dry clothes under layers of blankets. Cover as much exposed skin as possible. A scarf over the face or a hat on the head will help.
Avoid Cool Spots Within the House.
Make sure she’s not in front of a drafty door or window. A draft will cool her skin and the room temperature down. The center of the room is better. Heat rises, so a room upstairs is ideal if the house is well insulated.
She shouldn’t sit on anything cool. Sit her on a padded sofa and put slippers on her feet. Have her use footrests or hassocks to get her feet off a potentially cooler floor. If she gets too warm, it’s better to remove a blanket than clothing.
Use an Alternative Source of Heat Safely.
If your mom has a kerosene heater, wood stove, or battery-powered pellet stove, they can be a good source of heat. Make sure she has carbon monoxide detectors. Test them to make sure they’re working. If she uses a kerosene heater, set it away from flammable items like furniture and curtains. Crack open a window for ventilation.
Generators should not be used inside the home to run an appliance. It has to be set outside with plenty of ventilation. She should not use a gas stove to provide heat.
Check On Her.
Someone needs to check on your mom at least once a day. If there are concerns, move her to a shelter or someone’s home. If you live too far away, home care is helpful. Caregivers can check on her for you.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Plainview, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.
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