2013 – 2014 Winter – Health Warning for Elderly Folk

The  news of the worst winter in the last decades has surely put the medical world on guard. This is why the doctors attending to the needs of elderly folk issued last week a very serious warning related to the first signs of illness during this harsh season.

Call your doctor

Seniors are advised to contact their physician at the first sign of health problems. This will encourage a good communication and a faster treatment but also prevent the crowding of the emergency wards from the hospitals.

Scary statistics

According to specialists every winter the number of old people admitted with respiratory infections escalates during winter. Last year over 25 thousands of elderly men and women died from the cold or from complications caused by exposure to low temperature.

For the older people with chronic respiratory problems like asthma, winter time and cold air brings the need for extra care to avoid rapid health depreciation.

Organizational issues

Many health departments face  the need of treating an increasing number of patients during the cold months. This, combined with the necessity for the patients to be treated in a 4 hour time post their admittance to a hospital contributes to an escalating crisis of personnel and hospital space.

According to the doctors, for elderly folk a respiratory infection expands the need for hospital stay toa lot longer than 4 hours. Also the number of cases with complications from respiratory infections is higher in the case of older people.

Another problem also appears during such crisis. There are very limited possibilities for the older people to return home after they are treated so the time spent in the hospital increases. This causes delays in admitting new patients in need of treatment.

What should you do?

The key to help older people face better the health problems of this winter is encouraging them to prevent them by staying away from the cold, and taking better care of themselves.

Also a public request is addressed to everybody.

In case you know people who are frail and in the impossibility to move and take care of themselves, or in case you know elderly people with an existing health problem in need of assistance, offer your help. You can simply aid them by calling the pharmacy or the local clinic so they will receive immediate treatment and won’t have to be admitted into a hospital because the problem becomes worse.