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7 ways you can prepare for the cold weather

Friday, October 26th, 2018 | Blog

With winter just around the corner, it is a good time to start thinking about preparing for the cold weather. Severe cold weather like we saw last winter is difficult to cope with for the best of us, but for some groups of people, it can have a serious affect on their health and wellbeing. As the cold weather can suppress the immune system, illnesses such as the flu, pneumonia and cardiovascular problems can become more prevalent.

There are some simple precautions that you can take to make sure you are equipped for the cold weather. Read our checklist below to find out how.

1. Organise medications in advance – if you or a loved one has a long-term health problem and you know there is going to be a prolonged cold snap, it is important that you don’t run out of your medication. Make sure your prescriptions are ordered in advance and check if your pharmacy can deliver if they don’t already.

2. Keep active – when it’s cold, the last thing most of us want to do is go outside. It is important to get outside as much as possible to stay active. This will increase the temperature of your body and help to keep you warm.

If it is too cold to get out the house, there are ways to remain active inside the house. It is best to move around the house every hour even if it is to make a hot drink. If mobility is a problem, you can still wake up your muscles by doing simple exercises or stretches from a seated position.

3. Eat well – having a well-balanced diet is essential during the winter months. Having at least one healthy hot meal and several hot drinks throughout the day will help to keep the body warm.  During the winter, it is also a good idea to stock up on basic food items as well as frozen or tinned vegetables in case it is too cold to go out to the shops.

4. Heat the home effectively – as the elderly lose heat more quickly, making sure their home is warm is especially important during the winter. Make sure their living room is heated to 21° C and the rest of the house to 18 ° C. If you know someone who struggles with the cost of heating, take a look at the following government funded schemes. These schemes are designed to help make the cost of energy more affordable for the elderly during the winter.

5. Get the flu jab – those who are aged over 65 years, are pregnant, have a long-term medical illness or live in a long stay residential home are entitled to a free flu jab.

Getting the flu jab is the most effective way of preventing seasonal flu. The best time to get the vaccination is between October and November, but you can still get vaccinated later on in the winter. If you’re a healthcare worker, did you know you are entitled to a free flu jab too?  Have you had yours yet?

6. Pop to the shops – a simple task such as offering to go to the shops can go a long way in the winter. If you’re heading to the shops yourself ask your neighbour or family member if they would like you to pick up something from the shops on their behalf.

7. Get to know the neighbours – the bad weather can cause unexpected disruptions to your daily routine. If you know bad weather is on the way, go out of your way to make sure there will be someone on hand to check on your loved one when you’re not able to visit. Build a relationship with their neighbours, you never know when you might need their help.

If you need assistance in caring for a loved one this winter, please get in touch with our team on 01952 783 333.

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