5 Tips on Helping People Keep Well and Warm this Winter

Over the festivities it is likely that most of us paid a visit to see our elderly relatives and neighbours to spend some time with them and probably helped with those odd jobs around the house.

It is great when older people have a good network of family and friends to check in on them and make sure they are well and safe.  However, not everyone is so lucky and many older people spend weeks, even months without seeing anyone.

The return of the snow has made it even more important we keep up with these visits and make the extra effort in our busy lives to call in. 

 5 Tips on Keeping Well and Warm this Winter

 1.    Stock up on food and drink – it is very important people eat and drink regularly. At least one hot meal a day would help a lot. Vitamin C also helps with colds so eating oranges and drinking fresh orange juice is always a good idea.

 2.    Reduce the need to leave the house – if someone only has to go outside to collect medication or other necessities. Do what you can to eliminate this task. Family and friends could take turns, whatever can be done to reduce the risk of a fall or going out in the cold.

 3.    Hot Water Bottle or Electric Blankets – promote the use of either one of these in bed on a night. Never use both together as this can be very dangerous. Ensure electric blankets are serviced every 3 years.

 4.    Temperature Check – Your main living room should be around 21C and the rest of your house at a minimum of 16C. Take the time to check timers and ensure the heating is sufficient. Many people of low incomes will do without due to the rising costs. However there is help out there, the Winter Fuel Payment helps pay heating bills and is offered to people born before July 1951.

 5.    Wrap up warm – Layers of clothing keep us much warmer than those big thick winter jumpers due to warm air being trapped between the layers. Make sure people have a good stock of thick tights and socks, preferably thermal underwear if available.

During these winter months people who are over 65, disabled, on a low income or have long term health issues such as heart disease have a significantly higher risk of suffering colds, flu, pneumonia, strokes, depression and heart attacks.

Many lives are lost unnecessarily due to the cold, so lets all make sure we do our bit and look after the older people in our lives.

If you would like more advice on how you can keep your loved ones warm this winter visit NHS and AGE UK.

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