Winter is well on its way, and the weather is turning colder every day. For most of us, this simply means donning some extra warm clothing. But, the elderly may need to select clothes specially designed to keep them warm.
This is because the elderly don’t just feel the cold more than others but experience a drop in body temperature when exposed to cooler temperatures, even for a short period. Their bodies cannot generate heat the same way they used to for many different reasons.
In addition, the loss of the layer of fat just under the skin combined with thinner skin means they no longer benefit from being insulated. Insulation not only prevents cold from seeping in but helps retain heat better.
Clothing is, therefore, critical to fulfilling the role of lost insulation.
6 Ideas for Warm Clothing for Elderly People
Between 40% and 45% of our body heat is lost through our heads. Wearing a head covering during winter is, therefore, critical to staying warm. Although hats for older men and women are traditional, beanies are an excellent solution to keep the head warmer and prevent heat loss.
This is because the beanie protects the entire head, not just the top but covering the ears.
Knitted woolen beanies are ideal because wool is especially good at retaining heat. A lining inside the beanie provides an additional layer of protection against the cold and wind.
However, new tech means even better solutions for keeping the head warmer – heated beanies.
Check out these heated headwear solutions:
The feet tend to get cold quickly in winter and are difficult to warm up – even with a pair of fuzzy warm socks. This is significantly worse for the elderly, where the heart and the cardiovascular system must work much harder to pump blood to the feet.
There are several different options available to keep feet warm in winter. Microwave-heated slippers for seniors are ideal as they only take a few minutes to heat up but continue to produce heat for a few hours after heating.
Thermal insoles for shoes provide an additional layer of insulation preventing cold from leaking into shoes and heat from escaping. These insoles also make for greater comfort in standing and walking and should not impact shoe size because they are just 1/4 inch thick.
Some tech solutions that are also available (in the form of socks and boots that provide thermal heat constantly and are, of course, rechargeable) to keep elderly feet warm both in and out of doors include:
Hands get cold mainly because they are the most exposed part of the body. We constantly use our hands, so they are often not covered. As we age, our hands get colder faster and more difficult to warm up. Insulated gloves are a must for the elderly when they are outdoors but can also help stave off the cold indoors.
There is a range of different ways in which modern gloves offer insulation as well as thermal heat. Some are lined and made from materials that assist in generating heat. Others reflect the heat generated by the body to create thermal energy and, therefore, heat. The latest technology offers gloves that are heated electronically. Hand warmers are also ideal for warming hands that are already cold.
Thermal underwear is ideal for insulating, retaining, and generating heat because it is close to the skin. You also have a wide range of products to choose from. So, finding a product that meets your needs and style is easy.
Thicker products are highly recommended for the elderly. However, it is also advisable to consider the fabric or material these products are made of.
As skin ages, it becomes more sensitive and is prone to developing sores, tears, and abrasions, as well as skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, which results in itchy, dry patches of skin or a raised red rash.
No matter how warmly you dress, a draft on your neck and down the collar of your clothing will ruin your efforts. Cold necks lead to strain and can result in pain and tenderness. Scarves are ideal for keeping seniors’ necks warm and free from pain. Thermal scarves are also available that generate heat over and above, providing insulation.
The best scarf is, however, primarily up to individual preference, considering factors such as comfort, fabric, and skin sensitivity. Keep in mind that the elderly have more significant skin sensitivity, and this can be especially noticeable in the neck area.
Check out these helpful ways to wear or tie a scarf in different ways that are fashionable and keep the neck warm.
6. Ear Muffs
Even if you are wearing a beanie, there is nothing quite like a pair of earmuffs to keep ears warm and toasty in the coldest weather. While the ears don’t exactly contribute to a significant percentage of loss of body heat, they are susceptible to the cold. Cold ears can result in chapped, sore skin and painful ear infections.
Elderly folks who are experiencing hearing loss should use ear muffs with caution. Ear muffs may block what sounds you can hear. Many earmuffs for seniors are specifically designed for protection against hearing loss and not only to keep the ears warm on cold winter days.
A great warm gift idea for seniors is earmuffs that double as headphones. While your ears stay warm, you can listen to your favorite music, radio station, or audiobooks.
7. Arm And Leg Protectors
Arm and leg protectors prevent tears and abrasions on the fragile skin of the elderly. These garments are loose-fitting, comfortable, and designed specifically with sensitive skin in mind. While the protective coverings may not primarily focus on warmth, they provide an extra layer of insulation to help the elderly keep warm.
A wide range of protective coverings, colors, and fabrics is available, considering each individual’s needs. However, the coverings are most commonly worn under clothing rather than over.
8. Face Masks
Every time we exhale, we lose a small amount of heat from our bodies. This is evident in the steam that comes from our mouths on really cold days.
A face mask prevents this heat from escaping and keeps the face and the whole body warmer. Remember that the elderly do not replace lost heat efficiently, and preventing heat loss is therefore critical.
Layering garments is another good way to keep the elderly warm during winter. Always ensure that an extra sweater or jacket is available. Remember that you can always remove layers if you start getting too hot.
It is also not necessary for warm clothing to be unattractive. Trendy choices are available for fashion-conscious seniors that will keep them warm too.
However, comfort and skin sensitivity should also be considered when choosing a winter wardrobe for seniors and clothing items designed explicitly with warmth in mind.