Heath and Aging

Stay Safe in Cold Weather!

Your questions answered

Q: What health problems can make it hard for my body to stay warm?

A: Diabetes, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s disease, and arthritis are common problems for older people. These health concerns can make it harder for your body to stay warm. Talk to your doctor about your health problems and hypothermia. Your doctor can tell you how to stay warm enough even when it’s cold outside.

Q: Can medicines lower my body’s temperature?

A: Yes. Some medicines used by older people can make it easy to get hypothermia. These include medicines you get from your doctor and those you buy over-the-counter. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any medicine.

Q: What can I do to stay warm at home?

A: Try closing off any room you are not using. Close the vents and shut the doors in these rooms. Place a rolled towel in front of all doors to keep out drafts.

Also, make sure your house isn’t losing heat through windows. Keep your blinds and curtains closed. If you have gaps around the windows, try using weather stripping or caulk to keep the cold air out.

And, it helps to wear warm clothes during the day and use extra blankets at night.

Q: Can I get any help with my heating bills?

A: You may be able to get help paying your heating bill. You can call the National Energy Assistance Referral service at 1-866-674-6327 to get information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It’s a free call.  If you have a computer with internet, you can also email them at energyassistance@ncat.org.

Publication Date: June 2011
Page Last Updated: March 24, 2014