Tips and information helping you stay warm and health during the colder months as an older person.
Every single year 3,000 people die because they cannot afford to heat their homes in winter. Further figures tell us that one older person dies every seven minutes in winter, because of fuel poverty and other winter risks and dangers that affect the elderly.
You don’t have to become part of these scary statistics, in fact winter can be a very cosy, happy time of year if you are getting the help you need. The key is to be wary, and to reach out for help such as home care services if you need it. The more you know of the potential dangers and the more you do to prepare for winter risks, the more likely you are to stay happy and healthy throughout these months and into next year.
Here are a few tips to help you keep warm and healthy in winter:
Outdoors, it is important to layer up and invest in fleece lined footwear and cosy hats to stay warm when you venture out. Hand warmers are very handy to keep in your pockets, especially when the wind chill is particularly sharp.
Inside the house, do keep your house warm and check out which benefits you entitled to so you can get help paying your heating bills.
Try to at least warm one room that you spend the most time in, and use hot water bottles or similar products to heat your bed or to keep with you for warmth. Lastly, do eat hot meals like porridge, soup and stew as they will warm you from the inside.
Do check the weather forecast so you don’t get caught out in very bad weather. If you rely on public transport it is especially important to stay organised and go shopping before holidays that render the shops closed earlier than usual.
Social isolation happens easily in winter because the weather prevents people getting about, and everybody is busy focusing on Christmas. Do use Skype, the phone, messenger services and even the post to stay in touch with loved ones. Do consider local social groups and events with people of the same age and a similar interest to you.
Seek Advice Quickly If You Don’t Feel Well
If you start to feel unwell, seek medical help quickly. You can visit your pharmacy for minor health concerns, or get an emergency appointment at your doctors if you want to speak to somebody quickly. And of course call the emergency services if it is life threatening.
Staying mobile is important and so you must take precautions against slip risks, as a fall can put you out of action for a while. Do get footwear which is sturdy and has good grip, and do use mobility aids to provide stability. Staying mobile is also how you stay active as the less you move, the more your muscle mass and strength decreases, making you less able to move in future.
Ask For Help If You Need It
Please ask for help if you need it. Speak to neighbours, friends and family and your GP for support and help getting the services you need. If you require additional help day to day, now could be the right time to look into live-in care. Live-in carers can provide help with personal tasks, meals, cleaning, pet care, helping you remain social and helping you go shopping and get to appointments safely. If you are struggling to maintain independence and don’t want to consider care homes, this could be a really good option for you. You can find out more information on the Live-in Care Hub.