Ways To Keep Warm And Healthy In Winter
Every single year thousands of people die because they cannot afford to heat their homes in winter.
This is a shocking statistic for the western world, and further figures tell us that one older person dies every seven minutes in winter. This is often because of fuel poverty and other winter risks and dangers that affect the elderly such as falling over on slippery surfaces.
But you don’t have to become part of these scary statistics, in fact, winter can be a very cozy, happy time of year if you have a supportive social network and if you are getting the help, you need.
The more you know of the potential dangers and the more you do to prepare for winter risks, the more likely you are to stay happy and healthy throughout these months and into next year.
So just what are the best tips to help you keep warm and healthy in winter? Here are the most important ones:
Maintain Warmth Inside & Out
When you venture outdoors, it is essential to layer up and invest in fleece-lined footwear, cozy hats, and suitable gloves to stay warm when you are exposed to cold weather.
Hand warmers are also convenient to keep in your pockets, especially when the wind chill is particularly sharp, and can be efficiently heated up for each trip in the microwave.
Inside the house, do try and keep at least one room warm that you spend the most time in.
Whilst we don’t want to recommend being frivolous with your money, a warm home is a must during the colder months, especially for older people who find it harder to retain body warmth.
Try to stay as mobile as possible and avoid sitting still for too long. Also, use hot water bottles or similar products to heat your bed or to keep with you for warmth while you are sitting still.
Lastly, do eat regular hot meals like porridge, soup, and stews as they will warm you from the inside and provide the energy you need to maintain healthy body heat.
Do check the weather forecast regularly and definitely before any long trip out during the daytime or evening. That way you won’t get caught out unexpectedly in awful weather.
If you rely on public transport, it is especially important to stay organized and check for updates and changes to bus and train timetables.
Remember to also stock up on grocery shopping and household essentials if bad weather is forecast. A well-stocked food cupboard containing nourishing and non-perishable foods is always sensible for older people.
Think tinned soups, beans, corned beef, fruit, custard, rice, etc. These may not be your favorite foods, but when you can’t get out to buy fresh produce, tinned products could literally be a life-saver.
Social isolation happens quickly in winter because the weather prevents people from getting out and about as much as in the warmer months.
Do remember to regularly use Skype, the phone, messenger services, and even the traditional post to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Also, consider local social groups and events with people of the same age and a similar interest to you.
Loneliness and isolation can have a negative effect on both physical and mental health, so make an effort to interact with others at every opportunity.
Maybe even try and new hobby or activity – age should be no barrier to learning new things.
Seek Advice Quickly If You Don’t Feel Well
If you start to feel unwell, seek medical help quickly. You can visit your pharmacy for minor health concerns, or get an emergency appointment at your doctor’s if you want to speak to somebody immediately.
And of course, call the emergency services if it is life-threatening.
Staying mobile is essential, and so you must take precautions against slip risks, as a fall can put you out of action for a while.
Do get footwear which is sturdy and has a good grip, and do use mobility aids to provide stability. Staying mobile is also how you stay active as the less you move, the more your muscle mass and strength decreases, making you less able to move in the future.
Ask For Help If You Need to Keep Warm And Healthy In Winter
Please ask for help if you need it. Speak to neighbors, friends, and family and your GP for support and help to get the services you need. If you require additional help day to day, now could be the right time to look into live-in care.
Live-in carers can provide help with personal tasks, meals, cleaning, pet care, helping you remain social, and helping you go shopping and get to appointments safely. If you are struggling to maintain independence and don’t want to consider care homes, this could be a perfect option for you. You can find out more information on the Live-in Care Hub.