The weather this year has been lovely, but we all know that winter is on its way. It’s important that you are prepared for winter which we know is a season that is challenging for the elderly and those that struggle with mobility. There are extra risks of falls if the conditions are icy. We are sharing our top tips to keep elderly relatives stay safe in winter.
- Be prepared – it’s a good idea to be prepared before the cold weather sets in.
- Stock up – stock up the cupboards and freezer with plenty of food. You can also shop online when it gets colder to save you risk going outside.
- Prescriptions – if you have any repeat prescriptions make sure that you have enough of your medication as you may not be able to get to the chemist. You can also order your repeat prescriptions online and they will deliver them to you at no extra cost.
- When going out – wear layers, thermals, and good anti-slip shoes.
- Carry all your emergency numbers with you – carry a mobile phone, it would be a good idea to have your emergency numbers on speed dial.
- Keep warm at home – read through our points below.
How To Keep Warm In Winter At Home
It is important to keep warm in the winter at home, as the cold weather can affect your health.
- Put the heating on – keep the temperature consistent. Set your timer for your heating system and check the thermostat, so the temperature stays constant all day and night. Remember the temperature is coldest just before dawn. Close your bedroom window at night and close the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in. If you feel cold put the temperature up.
- Wear layers – wear layers of thin clothes instead of one thick layer of clothing. You will stay warmer and if you get too hot you can take a layer off easily. Thermals are great if you are going out and in the house if needed. Remember your hat, gloves, and scarfs.
- Blankets and hot water bottles – it’s a good idea to keep a few blankets where you usually sit in the day, so you can keep warm when needed. Hot water bottles are great to help you stay warm if you start to feel chilly.
- Eat well – it’s important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Soups are great for winter to help keep warm.
- Mental health – going out and about can become difficult in the winter because of the icy conditions and the freezing temperatures. Doing your regular activities and visiting friends and family may become difficult. Doing things that you enjoy every day is important for your mental health. Call or friends or family or even better use Apple’s Facetime app so you can see each other. Read a good book or watch your favourite film. Catch up is great to watch your favourite programmes on the TV.
Cold Weather Advice For The Elderly
Keeping yourself safe and warm over the winter months is important. Follow the advice above to keep yourself as warm as possible. If an elderly person becomes cold for too long. They are at greater risk of a heart attack, getting the flu and hypothermia which is a dangerous condition that requires medical assistance.
The signs of hypothermia are:
- Pale, cold skin
- Breathing becomes rapid
- Feeling tired
- Showing signs of confusion
- Slurred speech
If you or someone you know shows signs of hypothermia, call the emergency services. If you or a loved one needs support this winter, West Midlands Home Care offers social care, which includes going to the shops and appointments together.