Cold climates and aging

Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 07:32 am
Does the cold always bother older people? My parents think that it does, but I bet there are elderly people living in cold climates that don't hurt from the cold. Any thoughts?
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 07:41 am
depends if you have arthritis - I've been told I'd be better off living somewhere warm - I do worry a bit about when i get old as the cold weather makes it much worse

Alternatively germs get killed off in the cold and in that sense i suppose a cold climate can be healthy.
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 07:43 am
L.R.R.Hood - I would suspect that there are many reasons that the cold affects the elderly in a way that it does not affect younger people. Arthritis is exascerbated by the cold. Cold weather is stressful to the body in general, and many of the elderly have lung and/or cardiac problems that would make them uncomfortable in the cold.

The accouterments of cold weather, ice and snow, make for difficulty in navigating the environment for the elderly, who may have orthopedic or balance problems.

Are there elderly people who are NOT bothered by the cold? Sure there are. There are many differences amongst people of any age in terms of health, sturdiness, and ability to adapt.
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 07:48 am
I'm not so sure about the thesis that germs get killed off in cold weather. Cold weather drives people inside to congregate in a manner felicitous to the spread of pathogens.

I am not necessarily fond of cold, but don't suffer much from it either. This weekend, as i am in Toronto, and my arthur-itis is acting up, i suppose i could attribute that to the cold, but, then, i doubt it would have been significantly warmer in Ohio. I'm not ever likely to move to Florida (the weather there was always so drunk out when i briefly resided in the "sunshine, oh geeze" state), unless my sweetiepie insists upon it.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 07:53 am
I'm sure, a cold society is worse for elder citizens than a cold climate.
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 11:37 am

Good point.

Being a bit of a scatterbrain, I can't remember title or author, but a reputable academic investigated all the heat-related deaths among the elderly during one long, hot Chicago summer.

Without exception the dead had no caring family, no kindly neighbors, no one checking it to be sure that they were functioning in the heat.
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 11:53 am
All the bodily systems loose effectiveness as we age (related to our degree if 'fittness', resulting from comittedness to do our best to preserve what we have), so older individuals are generally more effected by extremes, as their bodies lose there ability to compensate for a hostile environment.

But this is frequently exagerated by societal propaganda, and, therefore the expectations of the elderly, that they will be more 'at risk', and must alter their livestyles accordingly.

As usual, 'uncommon' sense should govern.
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