04 Oct Keeping warm tips for the elderly
The seasons are changing and there is most certainly a chill in the air. As temperatures drop, this can cause health problems, especially for the elderly. We’re providing our top tips to help keep you and your loved ones warm this Autumn and Winter.
When the temperature drops to below 8C, some people are at increased risk of heart attacks, flu, pneumonia, strokes, falling and hypothermia. Very cold weather can affect anybody but you are more at risk if you are 65 or older (source: https://www.nhs.uk/).
Here are top tips for keeping warm this winter:
Keeping yourself warm
- Wear several thin layers, rather than one thick layer. Layers trap warm air close to the body, helping to insulate the heat. Cotton, wool or thermal clothes are ideal.
- A lot of heat is lost through the head and neck, so if you’re chilly indoors, try wearing a hat or scarf.
- Eat at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm. Make sure you have regular hot drinks too.
- If you’re sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide extra warmth. You should also try to keep your feet up, because air is cooler at ground level.
- Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so indoors – get up and stretch your legs.
- Stay active – even moderate exercise and stretching can help keep you warm.
- For cold feet, wear thick socks and preferably cosy slippers with a good grip too.
- Wear warm clothes in bed and wear non-slip bed socks.
- Don’t stand outside for long periods of time, as you can quickly get a chill.
- If you have a heart or respiratory problem, stay indoors during very cold weather.
Keeping your home warm
- If you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C / 65F (source: https://www.nhs.uk/).
- Keep your bedroom at 18C all night if possible and keep the bedroom window and door closed.
- If you can’t heat all the rooms in your home, make sure you keep the living room warm and heat your bedroom before going to bed.
- Draw your curtains, as soon as it gets dark to stop the heat escaping and the draughts coming in.
- Keep doors and windows closed and use draught excluders to stop cold air flowing through your home.
- Get a keyhole cover – it should only cost a couple of pounds and will help keep the draughts out in cold weather.
- Use hot water bottles or electric blankets to warm the bed, however never use them together as this can be dangerous.
- Ensure your heating system is serviced regularly and check your water stopcock is working properly.
Look in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives
Check up on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or respiratory problems, to make sure they are safe and well and warm enough, especially at night. Please also ensure they have stocks of food and any medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather. You can find out more about our home care services here.
Wishing you all a safe and warm winter. ❄️