Find out how to ensure you stay warm and healthy over the winter months with lots of useful tips and resources.
News reports in recent months and winters have highlighted the fact that thousands of elderly people have died over the last few winters because of the cold, or issues related to the cold like flu or pneumonia, or trips and falls because of ice.
As we get older, our bodies have a different reaction to low temperatures so it is important to protect against the cold to avoid being impacted in a way that can be dangerous for an older person.
To make sure you and your home can deal with a cold winter take a look at our checklist – it’s not too late to put these checks in place and ensure you are safe and comfortable for the remainder of the winter:
- Get your heating serviced
- Check your home is as energy efficient as possible – the Energy Saving Trust can give you independent, expert advice.
- Check that you are financially prepared for higher winter heating bills?
- Have an emergency supply of long-life foods in store in case the conditions outside become too difficult to go shopping
- Have a supply of sand and salt for de-icing your path and steps
- Have you had your flu jab?
- Ensure your medication is ordered well in advance
- Keep basic medication in stock (painkillers, cold and cough medication etc)
Keeping Warm & Healthy In Winter
Keeping warm in winter is really important as being in the cold for a long period of time can put you at risk a rise in blood pressure, which could cause a stroke or heart attack. It will also make you more susceptible to catching the flu or a cold. So to stay warm and healthy in winter, the following will help:
- Maintain an active lifestyle – this will boost your immune system against the common cold, and also strengthen your bones so if you do fall they are less likely to break. Moving regularly also keeps you warm. A live in carer will be able to work with your current physical abilities and get you moving comfortably.
- Get up regularly – when you are at home you should get up and move at least once an hour.
- Eat regularly – Hot food, and drinks will help to keep you warm. Vegetables and fruits will help ensure your immune system is boosted.
- Take a vitamin D tablet which helps keep your bones strong
- Wear warm clothes – keep layers of warm clothing on whenever you need to. A hat is important as you lose most of your heat from your head.
- Keep your home at a stable temperature, keep the heating on at a moderate temperature, which also avoids frozen pipes
- Close the doors so that heat is trapped inside rooms
- Utilise hot water bottles and microwave bag heating cushions
For more tips on keeping warm and healthy in winter, there is a useful resource from Saga – on how to avoid catching a cold.
If you feel unsure about keeping healthy and warm this winter, don’t suffer alone. Speak to your friends and family and ask them to check in more regularly in colder months. Utilise local charities and facilities, and speak to your GP if you are concerned about your health. In all instances, don’t ever feel you have to be cold in your home and suffer alone. There are always ways, means, systems of support and grants to help ensure you get through winter warm and healthy.