Winter is almost here, and with flu preparations on the minds of most carers, now is 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 of them can make a world of difference.
The main dangers of winter for seniors
It might sound obvious, but the greatest danger for the elderly in winter is feeling too cold. Cold temperatures are believed to suppress the immune system, meaning winter bugs like the norovirus are more common. For seniors who may already have weakened immune systems due to age, this makes the risk of contracting something severe quite significant.
Illness isn’t the only danger as ice and slush make the pavement dangerously slippery and increases the risks of slips, trips and falls. This often leads to many seniors simply not going outside at all, and being housebound can easily lead to other issues if they do not exercise or move about enough to keep warm. Being housebound also makes them quite susceptible to loneliness, which can lead to other mental issues if not alleviated.
What can you do to help?
In many cases, the solutions to these problems overlap with each other and solving one could help to solve some of the others. For this reason, it’s essential to give equal time to each of the following solutions.
- Visit often – The winter months can be long and lonely, and nobody should spend them alone. If you already have regular visiting times, consider increasing them. Don’t hold back on impromptu visits; for your loved one, it could be taken as a pleasant surprise.
- Pay attention to food – While we may think nothing of popping off to the store for supplies, that’s not the case for seniors. Ensure that they have full cupboards and, if necessary, arrange for shopping to be delivered to their door. You may also need to keep an eye on their diet to make sure they’re eating healthily and drinking enough – dehydration is a surprisingly common issue during winter, but one that can be easily solved.
- Ensure that they have heating – Senior people can often try to save money by turning off the heating, or not inform you if the central heating is broken in fear of being an inconvenience. If they’re struggling with paying for the heating, then you can also look into obtaining winter fuel payments to relieve the financial pressure.
- Consider hiring a care worker – If you do not have the time or ability to check on your elderly loved one often, consider hiring a home care worker. Our professional and trained carers can keep your loved one company and ensure that they remain warm, content and healthy throughout the Christmas season.
Choose Better Healthcare
At Better Healthcare, all of our carers 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: