Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Positive Aging Blog December 2023: Staying Warm Inside One’s Home

Dear Readers: Susan Freiband and I are retiring from writing these monthly blogs, and

hope you have read at least of few of them over the past 3 years and have found them helpful.

Hypothermia occurs when the body loses too much heat rapidly in a cold environment.

Symptoms may include shivering, cold hands and feet, pale skin, feeling sleepy, confusion,

having difficulty speaking and/or walking.  Call 911 immediately if symptoms are severe or persist.

Older people lose body heat much faster than midlifers.  You many not even realize you are

getting Hypothermia if you live alone.  First of all, dress comfortably both day and night.  During

the day, a layer of under garments plus a loose warm top and long pants, shoes and socks

will help.  If you still feel cold, add a pull down hat and cover your legs with a throw.  At

bedtime, wear long underwear and warm PJ’s.  Add an extra blanket to the bed.

Set your home temperature no lower than 68 degrees, preferably warmer.  Do not use a Space

Heater.  You can close the door and air vents to rooms you are not using daily, such as a mud room,

or laundry room, and keep the basement door closed.  Don’t sit near windows or drafts.  Also

close blinds and curtains if you feel cold air coming in from windows.  Eat regular meals.  A

little warm soup or a warm non alcohol and caffeine free beverage may also help.

Don’t just sit and watch TV all day.  Get up and walk around your home at regular intervals.  If you

have been doing exercises outdoors, do as many of them as you can inside.  Remain physically

and mentally alert.

If finances are a part of the problem, contact the National Energy assistance Referral Service at

1-866-674-6327 for energy assistance.

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