Skip Navigation
Michigan Department of Community, Official Website for the State of Michigan Home
close print view

Baby, it's Cold Outside! Seniors Urged to Prepare for Winter Months

Contact: Shirley Bentsen (517) 373-8765

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2011

LANSING - The Michigan Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) is reminding all older Michigan residents to take a few simple steps to stay healthy, safe, and comfortable by preparing now for the frosty winter months ahead.

"Michigan's seniors are especially vulnerable during the cold Michigan winter months. Topping the list of issues seniors are most susceptible to are influenza, hypothermia, and slips and falls," said Kari Sederburg, Director of the OSA. "It's important to draw attention to these risks so that every family can have a warm, safe and happy winter."

OSA has a few tips for residents preparing for the winter:
  • Get your flu shot if you haven't already done so. The flu can wreak havoc on older adults and anyone with a weakened immune system, respiratory issues, or heart disease.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. Stopping the spread of germs is especially important in the winter.
  • Bundle up to stay dry and warm. With age, the body becomes less able to respond to long exposure to very cold temperatures, sometimes resulting in hypothermia - a drop in internal body temperature - that can be fatal if not detected or treated. When going outside, dress appropriately for comfort and safety. Wear a hat, gloves, light layers of clothing, a coat, and proper footwear.
  • For homeowners, make plans with a neighbor, friend, or family member to have porches, sidewalks, and driveways cleared of snow and ice. Falls, a concern for older persons, are more likely when ice and snow are present. Further, the strain that shoveling snow can place on the heart during cold weather increases the risk of heart attack.
While these common sense approaches will go a long way toward staying safe, comfortable, and healthy during Michigan's cold weather months, calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment should you need it. Emergency medical services staff can begin treatment when they arrive, up to an hour sooner than if taken to the hospital by car.

For more information or assistance, residents can contact their local Area Agency on Aging or OSA at (517) 373-8230 or

# # #
Related Content
 •  Three Cases of Enterovirus D68 Confirmed in Michigan
 •  Michigan Raising Awareness of Sickle Cell Disease, Sickle Cell Trait
 •  MDCH Schedules Sixth Public Input Forum on Integrated Care Demonstration
 •  Michigan 4 x 4 Plan Features Residents, Organizations Success Stories on New Blog
 •  Michigan Monitoring for Cases of Enterovirus
 •  MDCH Kicks Off New Flu Vaccination Challenge for College-Age Adults
 •  Residents Encouraged to Replace Potassium Iodide (KI) Stockpile, Expires in October
 •  Michigan 4 x 4 Plan Features Residents, Organizations Success Stories on New Blog
 •  Public Comment Requested on Amendments and Transition Plans for Michigan's MI Choice Waiver and Habilitation Supports Waiver
 •  Haveman steps down as director of the Department of Community Health to focus on his health
 •  Public Comment Requested on Health Assessment of Breathing Chemicals Related to 2010 Kalamazoo River Oil Spill
 •  MDCH Releases Request for Proposals for Health Innovation Grants
 •  Public Comment Requested on Public Health Assessment in Muskegon County
 •  Michigan Recognizes Health Centers Role in Providing Healthcare Services to Residents
 •  Officials Urge Residents to Vaccinate, Protect Against Whooping Cough
 •  Michigan Selected to Join National Project to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse
 •  Statement from MDCH Director James K. Haveman about the Passing of Public Health Leader Jean Chabut
 •  MDCH Explore Lab Science Program to Host Youth Fishing Event in Lansing
 •  Residents Reminded to Consider Health and Safety Risks When Getting Body Art
 •  MDCH Invites Public to Comment on Title V Block Grant Application
QR code Home
PoliciesMichigan Survey

Copyright © 2014 State of Michigan