Hypothermia can be a very dangerous situation for your elderly parent.
This lowered body temperature can result in serious health complications including death. Unfortunately, seniors are at higher risk of experiencing hypothermia and its complications than younger adults due to a variety of factors including their body’s inability to maintain temperatures as effectively, lower activity levels, and the possibility of health problems that increase risk, such as diabetes.
As a family caregiver, it is extremely important that you are not only aware of these risks but that you are equipped to guard your parent from the potentially serious consequences. One vital step in this is being able to detect when your parent might be suffering from hypothermia.
Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include:
- Uncontrollable shivering
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty walking
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Weak pulse
- Lowered control over body movements
- Labored breathing
- Stiffness in the arms and legs
If you notice that your aging parent is showing any of the signs of hyperthermia, it is important to act quickly. Take their temperature and if it is at 96 degrees or lower, they may be suffering from hypothermia. Call for emergency medical assistance immediately and take steps to warm your parent up. Warm up the center of their body first rather than their extremities as warming their hands or feet first can lead to shock. Do not try to warm them up quickly such as in hot water as this could lead to further damage. Be sure that warm packs or compresses are separated from the skin with a cloth to protect against burns.
If you have been looking for ways to enhance your aging parents quality of life, now may be the ideal time for you to consider elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on the schedule that is right for them, ensuring that they have continued access to the level of care, support, and assistance that will enable them to manage their individual challenges and limitations while still enabling you to manage their care routine.
This means that they are able to pursue a lifestyle that is as independent, fulfilling, and healthy as possible while still enjoying a meaningful relationship with you during their later years. As their family caregiver, this can give you tremendous peace of mind knowing that they have everything that they need both when you are with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Northbrook, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare In-Home Care and Home Health Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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