30 October 2014

Safety Tips for the Elderly This Winter

Winter time can be especially cold if you are in your advancing years. A combination of dark nights, icy conditions, and hefty heating bills can make it a stressful time of year for pensioners. It is particularly troublesome for those who live on their own. So if you are worried about the next few months or have a relative who you are concerned about here are a few tips to help the elderly keep safe this winter.

Get Care
Services such as Extra Care At Home provide a helping hand in various aspects of a person’s home life from help getting up in a morning to and housework to providing companionship which can be very important during the isolating winter. Such organisations provide all the benefits of a retirement care home without the person having to uproot from their home.

Outdoor Physical Activity
It is important not to exert oneself as the cold weather will already put extra strain on the heart as it works overtime to keep your body warm. Do not attempt to shovel snow or carry heavy shopping, instead get a younger family member or carer to run such outdoor errands.

Prevent Falls
Wear boots with non-slip soles and keep paths and steps carefully cleared of snow or ice to avoid falls in the cold weather. Put a rubber tip on any cane or walking stick needed to walk to prevent it from slipping.

Wrap Up
Frostbite is a very real risk during extremely cold weather so it is important to cover up as much of your body as possible as areas such as your nose, cheeks, ears are most at risk as are fingers and toes. Frostbite is especially common amongst people with poor circulation and heart disease.

Keep Warm Indoors
Cold homes can lead to serious effects on a person’s health. Flu, depression, heart attacks, strokes, and pneumonia can call be caused by chilly houses. Measures such as electric blankets, eating well, wearing warm indoor clothes can all help your body keep in check when temperatures plummet.

Get a Flu Jab
It is recommended that all over-65s get a seasonal flu jab as the illness can escalate into pneumonia.

Stop Smoking
This is good advice for any time of the year but it is especially pertinent for winter. A smoke-free life will allow you to breathe easier and return your immune system to its best.      

Keep Social
To prevent the winter blues, keep in regular touch with friends and loved ones via telephone. If you feel like widening your circle of friends there are great services such as Age UK’s BefriendingService which assign older people with a befriender who provides friendly conversation on a regular basis.

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