Winter Weather is Serious Concern for Seniors Warns Leading Area Home Care Agency

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As severe winter weather impacts the Kansas City area, residents are taking extra precautions against the plummeting temperatures, icy winds and snowy streets. For most of us, these precautions include extra time scraping windshields and wearing one more layer of clothes. However, Kansas City Home Care, Inc., Overland Park, KS, is urging families throughout the metro area to take extra precautions to help their elderly family members feel safe and remain healthy this winter.

“Most importantly, take a few extra minutes to check in,” Smith said. “We are there for our clients everyday regardless of weather, but an extra set of eyes can help ensure our elderly have the help they need to stay safe, happy and healthy this winter."

As severe winter weather impacts the Kansas City area, residents are taking extra precautions against the plummeting temperatures, icy winds and snowy streets. For most of us, these precautions include extra time scraping windshields and wearing one more layer of clothes. However, one leading local home care agency reminds us that severe weather is a serious concern for our seniors.

Kansas City Home Care, Inc., Overland Park, KS, is urging families throughout the metro area to take extra steps to help their elderly family members feel safe and remain healthy this winter.

There are basic physiological differences that make seniors prone to health problems related to the cold. Older adults have slower metabolisms, so their bodies don’t generate heat as quickly as younger people do to withstand the cold. The elderly usually suffer from poor circulation, which means that their bodies have difficulty pumping blood to their arms, legs, hands and feet. This makes them more susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite and other common cold weather dangers.

“During the winter months, we especially see the additional stress cold weather brings to our seniors who sometimes feel stranded by snow and cut off from family or friends,” said Cheryl A. Smith, President, Kansas City Home Care. “We encourage families to take extra precautions to keep their loved ones safe and secure because many times, seniors simply don’t or can’t take the necessary steps on their own.”

The following tips can help your senior family member survive the worst of winter weather:

  • Keep thermostat between 68 and 70 degrees – this may mean a small additional expense, but it’s necessary.
  • Use electric space heaters to heat a small space, such as a bedroom or den. Use heaters with modern safety features, like an automatic shut-off. Keep the heater at a safe distance from furniture, curtains, bedding, etc.
  • Dress for warmth by layering loose-fitting, lightweight garments. Tight clothes and long underwear can restrict blood flow if they do not fit correctly.
  • Rather than relying on one thick comforter, lay extra blankets on the bed to help trap warmth between layers.
  • Wear mittens instead of gloves - these keep hands warmer because the fingers touch each other and generate heat.
  • Eat plenty and eat right – body heat is generated by burning calories. A senior’s body can quickly run out of fuel without the proper diet.
  • Check rubber tips on canes or walkers and replace as needed. Tips can become slippery on snow, ice or wet surfaces and cause falls.

“Most importantly, take a few extra minutes to check in on elderly neighbors and family members,” Smith said. “We are there for our clients everyday regardless of weather, but the extra set of eyes can help ensure our elderly have the help they need to stay safe, happy and healthy this winter.”

About Kansas City Home Care, Inc.
Kansas City Home Care, Inc. is a leading provider of home care services in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. Founded in 1989, the company offers a wide range of services to help maintain client independence, including licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants, home health aides and geriatric care managers. Kansas City Home Care is a charter member of the National Private Duty Association, the first and oldest trade association for providers of non-medical home care in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.kchomecare.com or call (913) 341-4800 (Kansas) or (816) 333-9100 (Missouri).

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Linda Sanchez
Thomas Marketing Group
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