Now the clocks have gone back, the temperature has started to drop. And for many older people, it’s extremely important that they know how to keep warm in winter.
After the age of 55, our bodies start to lose muscle mass. This means we start to feel the cold that little bit more each year. The colder we feel, the harder our heart and circulatory system have to work to keep us warm.
For some people, once the temperature drops below 8oC they may experience an increase in blood pressure because their body is working hard to keep them warm. This rise in blood pressure can place them at risk of a heart attack or stroke. So it’s vital that they know some helpful techniques to fight a cold front.
HOW TO KEEP WARM IN WINTER
There are lots of things you can do to keep warm over the winter season. One seemingly obvious solution is to turn up the central heating at home. However, the costs of energy bills can be a huge concern for some elderly people, and cheaper alternatives need to be found.
Whether young or old, these practical tips are all helpful in preventing chills and keeping cold at bay. Take a look at our list of easy to implement and low-cost tips to help you or a loved one stay warm when the temperatures drop.
Stay up to date with medications and flu jabs
As it gets cold, it’s important to look after your physical health. If you have a heart or chest problem, you must continue to take your medication as directed by your GP or medical professional. You may also want to make sure you have an adequate supply of medication, in the event you can’t access your pharmacy or your pharmacy struggles to reach you in bad weather. A free flu jab is also available for over 65s as a preventative measure to protect you from winter flu viruses.
Keep out the draught
Closing windows, doors, and curtains is a simple but effective measure in keeping the cold out of, and the heat in, your home. Close windows to stop heat from escaping. Shut internal doors to help keep heat in rooms. Draw your curtains of an evening and using a draught excluder to help keep cold draughts from entering your home.
Start with underclothes. Think about investing in thermal underwear to keep the core of your body from feeling the chill. Then add light thin layers that can be removed easily if you find you get too warm. If you need to, add a loose fleece jumper or cardigan for extra toasty warm cosiness.
You can add more layers by leaving throws and blankets within arms reach. Pull them around your shoulders or over your lap if you start to feel cold. If you decide to go outside, wear your scarf around your neck and lower face indoors for a short while before you leave. This will help to prevent the sensation of cold from shocking your system once you go outdoors.
Warm meals & hot drinks
This might seem obvious to some, but having at least one hot meal a day can help to fight the chill. And put the kettle on, or get your visitors to make you a brew, and stay topped up with warm drinks through the winter months.
Sitting still for long periods of time, like watching TV, can leave you more prone to feeling the cold. If you can, get up and have a little walk around and a stretch. This will help with circulation and will warm-up dormant muscles.
If the weather outside is frightful, then for some people it might just be best to stay inside. If you’re particularly vulnerable to the cold and are at risk of becoming ill, make plans to stay at home during a cold snap to ensure you stay warm. Ask friends and family to visit you or run errands for you to make sure you don’t run out of any essentials.
Avoid turning up the central heating even higher by going to bed or sitting on the couch with a hot water bottle. Or add an electric blanket, so your bed is warm and cosy when you go to sleep. Please note, don’t use the two together to reduce the risk of electrocution.
If you’re concerned about a loved one’s mobility this winter, request a callback from the team at Halton Stairlifts. Our experienced engineers are on hand to answer any questions you might have about outdoor stairlifts and indoor stairlifts to improve access in and around a property. You can also ask about preventing falls in the elderly. Take a look at our options for straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts and arrange your FREE home assessment today.