Winter is here, and while it can be an exciting and wonderful time of the year, the freezing temperatures can take its toll on anyone, especially older people. Apart from making our older loved ones more susceptible to colds and the flu, the cold weather can also be fatal for older people.
It has been said that one older person dies every seven minutes from the cold winter weather here in the UK.
Moreover, it was reported that cold homes are responsible for more deaths in the country than road accidents, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse. As temperatures are expected to drop even lower over the coming days, it is imperative to protect older adults by finding ways to keep them warm. Here are three practical tips for older people to follow in order to stay warm this winter.
1- Heat your home to the recommended temperatures
If you’re not very mobile, have a heart condition, heart or lung disease, or are over 65-years-old, you should heat your home to the ideal temperature. In the living room, the temperature should be set to 21⁰C, whilst in the bedroom it should be set to 18⁰C.
You can help to remain warm and safe at home by ensuring that you keep your windows closed, doors shut and your curtains closed when they are not in use. Keeping your curtains closed will help to prevent any droughts getting through to your room.
Installing a bio-ethanol fireplace is also a practical and safe way to keep your home warm is it gives off heat without smoke or soot. Consider placing the ethanol fireplace in an area of your home where your elderly loved one spends the most time, such as the living room.
2- Dress in layers
Wearing plenty of layers is essential if you’re to keep warm this winter. Wearing thin layers of clothing can keep a person warmer as compared to just wearing one thick jumper.
It’s also advisable to wear the proper footwear even if he or she is just staying at home. Non-skid socks are safe to wear and will keep an older adult’s feet warm even without wearing shoes.
3- Consume hot meals and beverages
Consuming enough food during the winter is important as food contains calories that the body needs to burn in order to keep warm.
Many older adults may not be mobile enough to prepare their own meals however. Prepare hot meals for your elderly loved ones this winter—rich meat and vegetable stews and hearty soups are particularly beneficial to keep warm.
You need to make sure that they drink lots of water to stay hydrated and that you serve plenty of hot drinks such as tea, coffee, or cocoa throughout the day.
Closing Thoughts on staying warm
The cold months can present a lot of health dangers for older people, but by helping them to keep warm, your elderly loved ones can stay safe and healthy this winter. If you suspect that your relative is ill or is showing early signs of hypothermia, consult your doctor immediately.
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