The nights are well and truly drawing in and we’re waking up in the dark and cold. It’s winter again and while we’re used to all that it usually brings, it’s never been more important to keep safe and well.
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic and the bitter weather which may be on the way, we would all be wise to stay warm, stay active and stay healthy this cold season. This is particularly important if you’re elderly or have health problems.
Drawing on our experience of providing excellent home care for older people, we thought it may be useful to compile some tips of winter advice for the elderly.
Why? Well, it’s a good idea to steer clear of hospitals and avoid having to use the NHS if we can help it right now.
Keeping healthy this winter – our number one advice
We think the most important thing at the moment is to keep your home warm. This is because, in the winter months, elderly people are most vulnerable to the cold. Your body has to work harder to be warm in the cold weather and that means your heart has to work harder. When you are cold, your blood vessels constrict so your heart can pump blood to your brain and major organs. This means that the cold can increase the risk of blood clot development which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Here are our five top tips:
Heat your home in the winter months
You know about all the obvious things – making sure your boiler is working, making sure windows are secure and insulated, having lots of blankets and hot water bottles to hand. Some people like to close their curtains once they feel warm, so the heat stays in the house. You may also want to use a space heater, but please be aware of the fire hazards involved. Age UK has some useful safety tips advice about fire safety and carbon monoxide poisoning which you can check out on their website. If you’re getting certain benefits you may be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment. You may also be able to get the Winter Fuel Payment.
Food glorious food!
It’s easy to lose body heat so make sure you’re keeping your body temperature up. Hot meals can help you feel warm and can support you in getting the nutrients your body needs. Look after your nutrition and make sure you’re eating a balanced diet. If you don’t have much of an appetite – as can be common among older adults – have more, smaller meals. Tinned soup or frozen meals are a good idea if you want something quickly.
It’s important to stay active
While there’s nothing cosier than snuggling up when it’s cold, it’s also vital that you stay active. The recommendation is for raising your heart rate for 30 minutes a day if you can with exercises at home or seated exercises if necessary. These can significantly improve your mobility and prevent falls. Brain activity is also important. You can exercise the brain with puzzles and other hobbies which get you thinking. Which will you try this week? Calling a friend or family is another great way to keep your mind active and put a smile on your face. Perhaps plan 3 calls a week.
Hydration is also important
Please don’t forget to hydrate during the winter months, as it’s easy to forget about fluids. Your body needs water to work properly, and dehydration can increase your risk of a fall. If you find water boring, try milk, soup, tea or coffee. Just try and avoid alcohol. If you have a long-term condition, heart failure or urinary incontinence talk to your doctor about your fluid intake. We work closely with healthcare professionals and are happy to support you with this.
Pride comes before a fall
Above all, we ask that if you need help, you do ask for it. Keep a list of contacts to hand, perhaps on a piece of paper or programmed into your phone if you have one. This will help you easily reach out in an emergency or if you have a problem. Companies like us have the advantage of vast expertise in providing first class and bespoke care to match your needs. Find a company like us who do not commit you to a long-term contract, but instead are happy to give as little or as much support as you wish.
Our five top tips above on winter advice for older persons are simple enough to you safe and healthy at home. Can you think of any more advice we should share? Please use our Contact Form to write to us and let us know. We’re always happy to help!
We are able to care for people with a wide range of needs, from people who need live-in care to those who want a small amount of additional support and help; for example, getting to social activities.
At Great Park Homecare we offer the following services:
- Personal care
- Household and Domestic
- Live in
- Respite Care
- Overnight Care
- Dementia Care
- Palliative Care
- Personal Assistant Service
Do we serve your area?
Areas we serve are Windsor, Old Windsor, Ascot and surrounding areas including Bray, Datchet, Dorney, Englefield Green, Eton, Eton Wick, Great Park, Winkfield and Windsor.
Would you like to find out more?
If you would like to find out more about our home care services or benefit from our Free Home Care Advisory Service, please contact us.