Keeping warm, safe and well during the winterKeeping warm, safe and well during the winter
Winter is often a period in the year that many older people dread. Icy pavements pose a falls risk, keeping warm can be difficult and cold and flu viruses circulate.
At Promedica24 we aim to provide optimum support that helps to keep older people well and happy during the winter months with live-in and home care services that help to make planning for and living through winters easier for our clients. Below is our ten-point checklist of some of the ways we believe older people can keep warm, safe and well this winter:
- Stock up on winter clothing and footwear. Layering clothing both indoors and outdoors is recommended in colder weather, so make sure you have the items you need for the winter season. Sturdy, non-slip footwear is particularly important if you are likely to go out during icy weather. You might want to consider adding some extra traction to your footwear with one of the ice-grip products on the market, like Yaktrax.
- Keep your home warm. Met Office advice suggests heating your home to at least 18c if you are over 65, have reduced mobility or a heart or lung disease.
- Keep your home safe. Have your heating and cooking appliances checked to make sure they are safe. Also ensure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Older and disabled people are eligible for the Priority Services Register, which provides a range of useful power-supply services – contact your energy company to be added to this.
- Keep moving; keeping active is really important in the colder weather. Activity can be anything from a walk around your garden or neighbourhood to indoor seated exercises if you are more immobile.
- Eat healthily. Having at least one hot meal a day is recommended for older people during the winter. Cold weather is a great opportunity to make comfort foods like homemade soups or stews that you can pack full of inexpensive ingredients like root vegetables (including carrots, potatoes and parsnips), lentils and pulses and cheaper cuts of meat that benefit from longer cooking times. Investing in a slow cooker is a great way to prepare your evening meal early and enjoy the delicious cooking smells during the day.
- Keep drinking. Many older people become dehydrated easily, especially if they are living with dementia and forget to drink regularly. Take the opportunity the colder weather provides to enjoy your favourite warming drinks or try something more adventurous with these Elana’s Pantry recipes.
- Have your flu jab. Last month we wrote about the importance of the flu jab, and it’s not too late to have it. All over 65’s are eligible for a free flu jab from the NHS and if you have it before the end of November you will still have the full benefit of it during the remainder of the winter.
- Make sure you don’t run out of medication. If bad weather hits, it may be more difficult to collect what you need from your local pharmacy, so make sure you keep up-to-date with repeat prescriptions and ensure you have enough medication to see you through any periods of bad weather.
- Keep cough and cold remedies in stock. If you begin to develop cold symptoms, using over-the-counter remedies or homemade alternatives like honey and lemon drinks can help you to feel more comfortable and able to rest to get better. Visit your local pharmacy or supermarket to stock up on the items you most commonly take to alleviate coughs and colds.
- Consider vitamin supplements. A supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D is recommended by the NHS as exposure to sunlight in the UK is reduced in the winter. Extra vitamin C may also help to boost your immunity, especially if your diet isn’t rich in fruit and vegetables.
If you would like to find out more or access our services, please visit www.promedica24.co.uk to use our online chat service. You can also get in touch with our team on 0800 086 8686 or by sending an email to email@example.com. If you’d like to assess your care and support needs rapidly online, we have a tool available for you to do this.
We can provide live-in care services across the whole of England and we would also encourage you to visit our testimonials page to read what our clients and their families have said about our services.