Winter Storm Safety: Protect Yourself in Extreme Cold Weather

Across Kansas, we’re getting hit with Winter Storm Warnings and Wind Chill Warnings. That comes frigid temperatures, snow and potentially threatening weather conditions.

Even just a few minutes outside in sub-zero temps can be dangerous.

Signs of Hypothermia

Hypothermia can happen in very cold weather. “In cold weather, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced, which can lead to serious health problems,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you notice any of these symptoms of hypothermia, call for help immediately:

  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion or impaired judgement
  • Fumbling hands
  • Memory loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Glassy stare

Try to restore normal body temperature while waiting for emergency crews to arrive. The American Red Cross recommends the following tips:

  1. Move the individual to a warm place.
  2. Remove any wet clothing and put on dry clothes.
  3. Warm the person by wrapping in layers and blankets.
  4. Monitor breathing and circulation and perform CPR if needed.


How to Spot Frostbite

Exposing skin to winter weather and extremely cold temps can also lead to frostbite. “It leads to a loss of feeling and color in the areas it affects, usually extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation,” according to the CDC.

Individuals with poor circulation and those who are not appropriately dressed for winter weather are at most risk for frostbite.

Look out for redness or pain on your skin, which may be the first sign of frostbite. Other symptoms from the Red Cross include:

  • Discolored skin that is white, gray, yellow or blue
  • Skin that feels firm, waxy or cold to the touch
  • Numbness or lack of feeling

If someone is experiencing frostbite due to cold weather, check to see if they are also showing signs of hypothermia. Regardless, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately and take action in the meantime:

  1. Move the person out of the cold and in a warm place.
  2. Do not rub the affected area. Handle it gently.
  3. Put the frostbitten area in warm, but not hot, water until it appears red and feels warm.
  4. If water isn’t available, use body heat. For example, if your fingertips have frostbite, place them under your armpit.
  5. If toes are frostbitten, use dry gauze between toes to keep them separated.
  6. Do not use heating pads or heat from a stove or fireplace as the area is already numb and can burn easily.


Stay Safe in Cold Weather

When the weather is this frigid, experts recommend you avoid being outside. If you have to go out, limit your time outdoors or take frequent breaks from the cold. Wear lots of layers to stay warm and cover exposed skin. That means a warm coat, hat, scarf, thick socks, boots and mittens or gloves.

Lastly, make sure at least one person knows your whereabouts at all times.


About Advena Living

At Advena Living, our priority is keeping community members warm and safe. At our seven locations throughout Kansas, we are prepared to handle severely cold temperatures. We have emergency plans in place in the event of a power outage, along with extra blankets and food.

We specialize in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. Our locations include Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita

To learn more about us, visit our website

Healthy Holidays: Tips to Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Tis the season for the sniffles. We’ve been hearing about the “tripledemic” since Thanksgiving and it seems like sickness is in the air. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s important to prioritize staying healthy.

Healthy Habits

To make your holidays merry and bright, the CDC recommends the following five tips:

  1. Wash hands often to avoid spreading germs.
  2. Wear appropriate clothing outside and stay warm. Remember to wear layers.
  3. Manage stress. Stress can affect your immune system, making you more prone to getting sick.
  4. Get your flu vaccination and Covid booster. A flu vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective, so now might be the best time to get it if you haven’t already.
  5. Eat healthy foods and exercise.

Stay Healthy When Traveling

For many of us, Christmas involves traveling—whether that’s by plane or car. That can mean coming in contact with a lot of people and a lot of illnesses. To stay healthy, Conde Nast recommends you prioritize sleep, stay hydrated, sanitize frequently touched surfaces, and wear a mask.

Infectious disease specialists also recommend you be cautious before a trip to avoid exposing others to illness. If you’re planning on visiting grandparents, avoid potentially risky behavior and large groups of people inside a week or two before.


Boost Your Immune System

It’s important to keep your immune system strong to fight off infections and illnesses. Specialists recommend a healthy, diverse diet full of fruits and vegetables, along with exercise.

Another way to naturally boost your immune system is to get outside. Vitamin D can boost immune cell production.

If you’re cooking, add a little garlic to your food. Garlic and onions are strong sources of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. For 10 other immune boosting foods, click here.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, our goal is to keep community members healthy and happy. We believe every individual should get to live how they want, and be able to maintain special daily pleasures, rituals and traditions that make them who they are.

Advena Living specializes in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. We have seven locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Stress Less This Thanksgiving

We’re entering the time of year when we collectively focus on gratitude. It’s even a ubiquitous tradition to say what you’re thankful for during Thanksgiving dinner. But between the frantic cleaning, food prep and traveling, it can be stressful.

Here are five tips to make Thanksgiving more carefree so you can focus on what matters.


Take Deep Breaths

Perhaps the easiest way to quickly reduce anxiety is by taking deep breaths.

“Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness,” according to the American Institute of Stress.

When the family dynamics start to get a bit overwhelming this Thanksgiving, take a few seconds to breathe.

Healthline recommends these basic techniques for diaphragmatic breathing:

  1. Relax your shoulders.
  2. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach.
  3. Breathe in through your nose until you can’t take in anymore air.
  4. Purse your lips as if sipping through a straw and exhale slowly through the mouth for four seconds.
  5. Repeat


Don’t Go Overboard

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and eat a big feast. But you might want to skip overindulging in food and spirits.

The Mayo Clinic recommends you have a healthy snack before your holiday meal, avoid excessive alcohol use and try to limit sweets and cheeses.


Pitch In

Consider this a day to all pitch in. Don’t rely on one person or one family to provide all the food and drinks, which can be costly and stressful.

Turn Thanksgiving into a potluck where everyone is responsible for one or two items.


Be Realistic

The holidays aren’t about perfection; they’re about spending time with the people you love.

“As we gear up for the holidays, we often set the bar impossibly high for ourselves and then feel upset when our celebrations don’t live up to expectations,” said Neda Gould, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Mindfulness Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Gould recommends you accept that imperfection is healthy and normal.


Express Gratitude

Above all, try not to lose sight of what Thanksgiving is all about. Find things to be grateful for and express your gratitude to your loved ones.


About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we are thankful to our employees who continue to work hard to care for our residents. Their compassion, commitment and kindness make residents at our communities feel at home.

Part of our guiding philosophy is that we strive to make the concept of “home” a real thing. It is our goal to ensure that each community member gets to live how they want to, on their own schedule, and is able to maintain those special daily pleasures, rituals and traditions that make them who they are.

Advena Living specializes in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. We have seven locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.