Even in her late seventies, Feroza Rahman is still viewed as a witty, fun-loving person to her family members. However, Feroza has been hiding something lately from her family. A few days back, her elder daughter heard her crying while Feroza was in the shower. Bewildered and concerned, she asked her about it. Freoza just ignored the inquiry insisting nothing happened. After her daughter refused to let it go she finally relented and told her that she was suffering from stiffening of muscles from the cold weather, rendering her unable to move without pain.
Winter isn't easy on the general population either, but older people suffer the most. It is hard to cope with the cold for Bangladeshi people, who are accustomed to very hot and humid atmosphere that persists throughout the year. Because it is harsher on the elderly, it is wise to be take appropriate measures to suffering in it. Here are a few pointers that will help fight the bitter cold:
Avoiding an arthritis trigger
Having had Chikunguniya, Shuily Ahmed suffers from swelling and pain in her joints. Like the Shuily, who is in her late sixties, people of her age have joint pain, particularly in the knees, when cold comes knowcking on the door. While you can't completely shun cold in the winter the obvious and common sense approach to not letting cold trigger arthritis is to actively avoid exposure to open cold spaces and the chilly wind.
Temperature is important
It helps tremendously if you could keep your rooms warm. One of the ways of doing that is closing the windows, specifically those facing North. Sometimes people don't want to buy room heaters thinking that it will not be used for the rest of the year. But exposure to cold is not worth saving that money, specially for the elderly.
Increasing blood flow
Moving around naturally heats up the body and don't let the cold set in. If you are in your 50s, 60s or 70s, or simply feel you are not as mobile as you used to be, a little bit of exercising and walking around throughout the day can keep you a lot warmer than if you just snuggle inside a quilt. It boosts up blood flow and body heat, keep you active and mobile at home. If you are going out don’t forget to look up the weather forecast.
Hydrating the body
It is important to drink sufficiently. Because the drinking water is cold, some people tend to not drink as much. Also you are not as thirsty because of the lack of heat. So, people might actually drink less than necessary.
Locking the heat
While exercising and acclimatising is very helpful, don't neglect putting on sufficiently warm clothing. Do use your best judgment though when putting on layers of cloths. You want to block the cold without making your body more warm than necessary. Using heavy layers gives your warmth but going a little light kind of balances your body, so that when you are exposed it doesn't feel too shivery.
Hazera begum, a resident of Khulna, was prepared to fight off the cold with her armour of sweater and chador from head to toe. With the help from her daughter the sixty-year old was ready to plough through the winter unscathed. But a simple mistake put Hazera in misery. She wore rubber slippers that are prone to skidding, and sure enough, the slippers did slip while she was on stairs, causing her to fall tumble and get hurt in the legs. It’s important to find footwear with better traction to prevent such incidents.