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Keeping Elderly Warm And Safe In Winter

Elderly couple wrapped up warm in winter

"Love keeps the cold out better than a cloak." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Not many people know that the older we become, the quicker we lose body heat. A healthy body temperature is around 37C. When it drops below 35C, the risk of developing hypothermia increases. Hypothermia is extremely dangerous for the elderly, and our Live-in carers know this is especially true for those living on their own. They may not know what their temperature is, and become too cold too quickly. This may make any underlying health conditions worse.

One of the main issues for many elderly in winter is cold homes. While care homes follow NHS guidance regarding indoor temperature and keep rooms relatively warm, people living in their own homes may sometimes feel cold.

Understandably, keeping a comfortable temperature at home can be a financial worry. But nothing is more important than knowing that their health is not at risk because a house is colder that usual. It is worth noting that the risks of heart attack, stroke, flu, and pneumonia increase when temperatures fall below 8C. Even if the indoor temperature is between 15C and 18C, it might not be warm enough to prevent health issues. That’s why it is recommended to keep the temperature above 18C during the day, and investing in a heated blanket which doesn't use much electricity but keeps the body nice and warm.

If you are worried about your loved ones living on their own, arranging a Live-in Carer will give you peace of mind, as they will make sure that your elderly loved ones are warm and comfortable whilst enjoying the surroundings of their home.

Do you know that the most common signs of hypothermia are not just cold feet and hands? People suffering from hypothermia experience slowed or slurred speech, sleepiness or confusion, shivering or stiffness in the arms and legs, poor control over body movements or slow reactions, or a weak pulse. Live-in Carers watch for these signs and can get medical attention as soon as required.

Shorter and darker days can also make those living on their own feel especially lonely and depressed. Looking after their mental health is essential during winter months.

Having a Live in Carer is proven to be effective to combat loneliness, especially amongst the elderly. They make wonderful companions. They encourage their Clients to stay active by going for short walks or doing some winter gardening on a nice sunny day. They accompany them to the shops and community centres. Carers also support hosting an afternoon tea gathering at home - or whatever social activity your loved one desires! All these help elderly stay active, and feel included.

When going outside, it is important that your elderly relative or friend wear sturdy footwear. This will prevent slips and falls. It is wise to spread grit or salt on pathways and driveways to stop slippery surfaces.

Some of our Clients still drive their own car and enjoy doing so! Driving in winter sometimes means driving in poor conditions. It is important to make sure that their cars are in perfect working order. Winter is a good time to talk to your loved ones about whether they still feel confident to drive, and have a clear understanding of the weather dangers. Or it may be worth looking at alternative means of transportation - in comfort, of course! Many of our Live in Carers are confident drivers, and they are happy to drive their Clients around.

Here is a quick roundup of our tips to keep your elderly loved one warm and safe in winter:

  • Keep temperatures above 21C in living rooms and above 18C in bedrooms;

  • Make sure they have enough blankets and warm clothing;

  • Ensure they eat warm nutritious meals;

  • Consider arranging a Live-in Carer;

Our Live-in Carers are perfectly matched with your family's needs. From arranging a companion for your parents, to having and experienced Carer with conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia care- we can help connect you with the right Live-in Carer. We are just a call away - 01264 319399.


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