Winter is looming and for many of us that means getting the warm clothes back out and turning the central heating on. However, for elderly people, especially those living alone, winter can be a worrying time and also a deadly one. Older people are most at risk of death over the winter, either from winter bugs like flu – which scientists and doctors are expecting to make a comeback this year, as restrictions are now relaxed and people are mixing again – as well as the cold temperatures. If you know an older person, here are some ways that they can keep well and stay warm this winter…
Keep Moving – Many older people find it a struggle to move about a lot and a lot have disabilities that mean it is harder for them to be active. Moving around is a good way to keep the body warm however, and even someone who is sitting in a chair or lying in bed can do exercises to keep warm. Moving the wrists and ankles around can help the blood to flow into the extremities, and there are lots of exercises that you can find online that you can do sitting or lying down. Going out for a walk can be risky for an older person in the winter due to the icy pavements, but there are mobility aids available that can help with this.
Keep the Home Warm – Making sure that the house itself is warm enough is important. Keep a thermometer in the rooms that are most used, such as the bedroom and living room, ideally this should be around 20 degrees Celsius. Before winter arrives, it is also a good idea to check that the boiler is in good working order – if it is not, get a professional like this Boilers Gloucester based company HPR to repair it before winter sets in. Good insulation around draughty areas such as windows will also help to keep the heat in, so thermal curtains and draught excluders are a good idea. Keeping the doors closed to rooms that are not used much will also help to keep the heat in the parts of the house where it is most needed, as well as saving money on heating costs.
Keep Healthy – Making sure that the body is healthy is important. Make sure there are enough supplies of medicines in the house, especially things that can help with colds such as paracetamol and cough medicine. Having good food available is also important, and many older people who live alone struggle with preparing hot meals for themselves. Warm comfort foods like soups are a good choice for a warm and nutritious meal, and for people who are not able to make their own hot meals there are services that can get meals delivered to the door that simply need to be heated up. Having plenty of vitamins and nutrients is important particularly in the winter to stave off illness, and warm food and drinks will help to keep the body temperature warm.