Top tips for the elderly this Winter… Stay safe, stay healthy

08 November 2016

Gary Derbyshire & Gill Clements, our regional partners and live-in care experts from Ribble Valley, have provided some top tips for staying safe and healthy this Winter…

It’s that time when we get our scarves and gloves out, when we must scrape the frost of our car windscreens and might need turn the heating up a notch or two. Winter might be a bit of inconvenience for most us but it can be a worry for our older loved ones. As we get older we can become more vulnerable in cold weather.

But with a little preparation, and by following some simple suggestions, we can help ourselves to stay healthy, safe and as comfortable as possible in winter.

By keeping the house warm and wrapping up when you are outside your home you can help reduce your risk of serious health problems that are more common in the colder months, such as chest infections, heart attacks and strokes.

Getting ready for the cold weather – which can start as early as October – means that you’re more likely to keep warm and well.

Here are some great ideas to help you stay safe and keep the winter chills away:

  • Get your heating system serviced every year by a qualified engineer to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently.
  • Never block air vents and if you have wood-burning, coal or gas heaters make sure there’s adequate ventilation.
  • If water pipes freeze they can burst. Make sure you know where the main stopcock is and check that it’s easy to turn so you can turn off the water if you need to.
  • Have your electric blanket serviced at least every three years.
  • Make sure your smoke alarm is working. You can ask your local fire service to check your home for fire safety. It’s free and you may be eligible to get free smoke alarms fitted.
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in each room that has a gas appliance.
  • Make sure you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills.
  • Dress in plenty of layers and make sure you have warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles.
  • Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather.
  • Consider fitting a grab rail if you have steps at your front or back door.
  • Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house.
  • Follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab.
  • Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast.
  • Ask your local pharmacy if they offer a prescription pick-up and delivery service.
  • Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping. Our Promedica24 Live-in Carer or family and friends can help with the shopping trip when its icy outside.
  • Eat healthily and keep as active as possible.
  • If you have one of our live-in carers from Promedica24 you will be safe, secure and well looked after, if not ask your family, neighbours or friends if they could call or visit you more often.
  • Keep a torch handy in case you lose power and keep your radio, mobile phone, laptop or tablet fully charged, so you can use the battery power if there’s no electricity. If there is a power cut you can call 105 for free. You’ll be put through to your local network operator who can give you help and advice.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers, such as your utility companies, by your phone.
  • Always wear a hat to protect against heat loss since about 30% of body heat loss is through the head.
  • If you are able try to keep your living room at 21’C and bedroom at 18’C, if not put extra layers on or wrap yourself with a blanket.

Remember if you need some extra support and help, not just in Winter but all year around, our experienced carers at Promedica24 can offer you companionship, care and safety with our live-in care packages.

Gary Derbyshire & Gill Clements

Promedica24 Ribble Valley and Lancashire

Live-in care in the Ribble Valley and Lancashire

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