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
 •  Michigan Joins National Diabetes Awareness Month Efforts
 •  New Data Show Veterans are More Likely to Have Arthritis than Non-Veterans
 •  MDCH Awards Funds to Combat Chronic Disease, Promote Healthy Lifestyles
 •  Michigan Monitoring Residents in Accordance With Updated Guidance
 •  Allen Jansen Named New Interim Director of Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital
 •  Michigan Participates in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
 •  MDCH Urges Residents to Protect Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
 •  MDCH Launches Website to Address Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse
 •  MDCH, MOA, and MSMS Urge Residents to Vaccinate Against Influenza;State Confirms First Influenza Cases of 2014 – 2015 Flu Season
 •  MDCH, YMCAs Partner to Promote Healthy Programs for Michigan Kids
 •  Michigan Receives Million Hearts® Funding to Fight Heart Disease and Stroke
 •  New Breast Cancer Awareness License Plates Support Screening, Early Detection
 •  Michigan Proclaims October Disability Employment Awareness Month
 •  MDCH Finalizes Two Public Health Assessments for the Torch Lake Superfund Site in the Keweenaw Peninsula
 •  Michigan Features Michigan Residents in New Video about Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder Recovery
 •  MDCH Awards Active Living Grants to Encourage Healthy Communities
 •  Michigan Recognizes Familial Hypercholesterolemia Awareness Day, Encourages Cholesterol Screening
 •  Michigan Adults Encouraged to Protect Themselves and Loved Ones from Falls
 •  Three Cases of Enterovirus D68 Confirmed in Michigan
 •  Michigan Raising Awareness of Sickle Cell Disease, Sickle Cell Trait
QR code Home
PoliciesMichigan Survey

Copyright © 2014 State of Michigan