As we get older, our bodies start to respond differently and we become more vulnerable. The colder weather can become more of a worry in relation to elderly care – from keeping warm, getting ill, keeping on top of home maintenance, preventing slips and spending extra money on utility bills. Although, with the correct preparation and advice, we can care for ourselves and stay as healthy and comfortable as possible during the upcoming winter months.
The colder weather can start as early as October, so starting to prepare yourself now means that you are more likely to keep warm and well throughout winter. We have put together a list for elderly care clients which you can do to keep yourself happy, healthy and safe throughout the upcoming winter months.
- Make sure your smoke alarm is working. This can be done for free by your local fire service, who will also check your home for fire safety. You should also have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in every room which has a gas appliance. You can buy Caring Hands smoke and carbon monoxide alarms here.
- Follow up on your GP’s invitation to have your flu jab – you may be eligible to get this for free. Flu can cause unpleasant illness for most people, but cause particularly severe illness amongst the elderly and those needing care.
- Always keep a stock of basic food in your cupboards or freezer, in the case that it is too cold or icy to go shopping. Also aim to have at least one hot meal a day and also vary your diet to include plenty of fruit and vegetables so that you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients. Keep yourself warm by drinking plenty of hot drinks, and also stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water per day.
- Order your repeat prescriptions well in advance so you don’t run out. Your pharmacy may also offer a pick-up and delivery service, so make sure you ask about this the next time you’re there. Also keep general cold, flu and sore throat medicines at home – your pharmacist or care provider will also be able to advise you on how to manage minor illnesses such as those.
- Write down emergency numbers such as close family members, your local council, utilities and care providers and keep this by your phone – or save them under something memorable in your mobile phone. Always remember to keep your mobile phone, laptop or tablet fully charged in case there is a power cut. Also keep a torch somewhere handy, as well as candles and matches.
- Ask your friends or family to visit or ring you more often throughout the winter months to check up on you, keep you company and assist with things such as taking you food shopping. If you require extra support on top of what your family can provide, it may benefit you to have a carer who can visit you throughout the day. Our hourly home care is flexible, carers visit you in blocks throughout the day; and can help you with household tasks, cooking, cleaning, getting out and about, and also provide you with extra companionship.
- Invest in a Lifeline pendant alarm – they are connected to a 24-hour emergency response call handling centre and provide rapid assistance in your times of need – such as when you’re unwell or have a fall. All you need to do is press the button on your pendant and the call centre will talk to you, and establish who needs to come and help you (a family member, neighbour, care provider or emergency services). You can buy a Caring Hands Lifeline Pendant alarm here.
- Also ensure that any maintenance issues such as broken locks, windows, or fittings are repaired in time for the winter months to keep your home safe and secure. Our maintenance team are on hand to help you with any repairs or jobs around your home – from changing lightbulbs and putting up curtains, to installing your Lifeline Pendant alarm boxes.
- Make sure you have warm clothing such as coats, jumpers, slippers and thermals to keep you warm both inside and outside of your home. Also keep blankets around your house for colder days and nights. Being exposed to cold environments can raise your blood pressure, putting you at higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
If you would like to speak to one of our expert elderly care managers, or find out more information about any of our services which can help keep you safe, happy and healthy over the upcoming winter months, please do not hesitate to call the Caring Hands (Preston, Lancashire) freephone number: 0800 138 1836.