Winter is here! For seniors living in the Midwest, winter poses a number of risks. Reports have shown that winter brings with it higher incidences of flu viruses, hypothermia, and injury due to icy sidewalks, low temperatures, and dry air.

Follow these simple tips to help you protect yourself during this frigid season!

  1. Safeguard against hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when too much heat escapes from the body, so it is important to dress warmly and stay dry. In addition to dressing warmly, maintaining proper nutrition is also crucial. Hot food and warm drinks are the best fuel for the body in winter.
  2. Dress for the weather. Layered, loose-fitting clothing, gloves, and hats will protect you from the cold outside.
  3. Wear proper footwear. Non-skid boots or shoes offer adequate traction.
  4. Exercise regularly. Cold weather can put extra strain on the heart, so it’s important to get a bit of physical exercise every day to maintain optimum health.
  5. Use portable heaters safely. If you need to use a space heater, plug the heater directly into an outlet instead of plugging it into an extension cord. Make sure the wiring and outlet are both in good condition. Keep the heated area free of furniture, newspaper, or other clutter. Be sure to avoid tripping over any cords that may stretch across the floor.