Better Healthcare Services / News
With winter fast approaching, flu preparations are on the minds of most carers. However, it is also a good time to consider some of the other ways that you can protect your loved one from the cold. Many of the methods may seem obvious, but some can make a world of difference.
It might sound obvious, but one of the greatest dangers for the elderly in winter is feeling too cold. We don’t just mean extreme winter temperatures, but also moderate conditions and when the outdoor temperature drops below six degrees Celsius.
Cold temperatures are believed to suppress the immune system which may be one of the reasons why bugs like the norovirus and flu are more common in winter. For seniors who already have weakened immune systems, this makes the risk of contracting something severe quite significant. This is even more exasperated when an older person lives in a cold home, as this can lead to tight, stiff and achy joints, negatively affecting the mobility of those who suffer from conditions such as arthritis.
Winter-related illnesses are not the only danger, as ice and slush make pavements dangerously slippery and increases the risk of slips, trips and falls. This often leads to many seniors simply not going outside at all. Unfortunately, being housebound may cause various issues – especially if they do not exercise or move about enough to keep warm. Remaining housebound also increases the risk of loneliness which is currently a serious issue affecting the UK’s senior population; according to Age UK, 1.9 million older people often feel ignored or invisible.
Being elderly (65 and older) is a risk in itself, but there are other factors that can contribute to vulnerability at the coldest times of the year.
Senior adults (65 and older) have an increased risk of suffering from a health condition which is why that demographic is considered as the ‘vulnerable’ during winter. However, as with any demographic, some are more vulnerable than others. Concerning winter and winter-related health risks, you are most vulnerable if:
In many cases, the solutions to any of these problems could help to solve some of the others. For this reason, it’s essential to give equal time to each of the following suggestions.
At Better Healthcare, all of our care workers are highly trained and prepared for any eventuality. You can rely on us to care for your loved ones this winter, safe in the knowledge that every need will be taken care of.
To find out more about how we can help your loved ones through winter, give us a call on 0800 668 1234, or contact your local office.