Older adults are especially vulnerable to hypothermia because their body’s response to cold can be diminished by underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, some medicines including over-the-counter cold remedies, and aging itself.
Why are older people more susceptible to cold?
Older adults have a thinner layer of fat under the skin, making them more susceptible to cold. Conditions like diabetes, peripheral artery disease and kidney disease can restrict blood flow and lower body temperature.
Are older people more likely to suffer from hyperthermia?
As we age, our ability to adequately respond to summer heat can become a serious problem. Older people are at significant increased risk of heat-related illnesses, known collectively as hyperthermia, during the summer months.
Which age groups are most susceptible to hypothermia?
Babies and older adults are more susceptible. For babies, hypothermia can occur when their body temperature is 97°F (36.1°C) or lower. Hypothermia can also be a concern in a poorly heated house in winter or an air-conditioned room in summer.
Why do elderly have lower temperature?
Several factors can lead to a lower body temperature in older people. For instance, as you age, you lose fat under the skin in your extremities and your skin becomes drier; both of these changes cause loss of body heat. Metabolism, which also generates heat, tends to slow as you age.
What causes a person to stay cold all the time?
The numerous potential causes for coldness include hypothyroidism, calorie reduction and general aging, where people become more sensitive to cold temps due to a decrease in the metabolic rate and thinning of fat under the skin.
What causes cold hands in the elderly?
When an elderly adult’s blood is not properly circulating, the temperature of their extremities tends to fluctuate. The blood vessels in those areas constrict in efforts to retain body heat, which results in cold hands and feet.
Why are older adults more susceptible than younger adults to both hot and cold stresses?
Why are older adults more prone to heat stress? Older adults do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature. They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
Why do elderly individuals with poor circulation have a greater risk of suffering heat exhaustion or heatstroke?
Explain why elderly individuals with poor circulation would have a greater risk of suffering heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Blood circulation is one of the most important things to retain homeostasis; therefore, elderly individuals with poor circulation have greater risk of suffering heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
How can you prevent hyperthermia in older adults?
To keep heat-related illnesses from becoming a dangerous heat stroke, remember to:
- Get out of the sun and into a cool place—air-conditioning is best.
- Drink fluids, but avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Shower, bathe, or sponge off with cool water.
- Lie down and rest in a cool place.
Which changes that occur with aging increase the risk for hypothermia in older adults?
Diminished subcutaneous fat on the face and extremities increases the risk of hypothermia in the elderly.
What percentage of deaths from hypothermia occur in older people?
Persons in the 65- to 74-year category, representing 7% of the total U.S. population (1), accounted for 18% of these deaths. Persons 75 years and older, representing 4% of the U.S. population (1), accounted for 28%. Data for the last few years indicate the hypothermia death rate among the elderly may be increasing (2).
What temperature is too low for elderly?
For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse. Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia.
What causes hypothermia?
Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.