Tips for keeping the elderly warm this winter
Wondering how to keep warm in winter if you are an elderly citizen? There are several
Wondering how to keep warm in winter if you are an elderly citizen? There are several challenges faced by pharmacists when taking care of elderly patients. From heated clothing for elderly citizens to winter medication for elderly people in a timely manner, there are several steps to follow in this regard.
Here are some cold weather safety tips for seniors and elderly citizens:
- Keep your house warm One of the biggest ways to avoid cold weather illnesses is to keep the house warm. Get your boiler serviced earlier in a year if you can do the same, and make sure to check radiators. Engineers will not be as busy in the summer months, and you should note this fact for next year if you are struggling to find someone prior to Christmas.
- You should ideally keep the temperature of the living room at 21 degrees and the bedroom at 18 degrees, while the rest of the house should be at 16 degrees Celsius as a minimum threshold. Set your heating to turn on right before getting up and switch off automatically post-bedtime. If it is really cold, set your heating to come on earlier while turning off later on instead of cranking up the thermostat.
- Ensure that the house is insulated properly for keeping heat inside it and saving on electricity bills simultaneously. Draft all proofing doors and windows along with insulating the loft and walls if required. This will help in retaining a lot of heat. Insulation is one aspect that you should not neglect by all means.
- Switch off heating in any rooms which you are not using; draw curtains as it turns dark for helping in keeping heat retained in the same.
- If the house is heated through solid fuel or oil, ensure that there are ample supplies available for the winter.
- Electric blankets are wonderful options and should be regularly checked and scrutinized. Experts should check the same through the manufacturer/shop/local authority or even the trading standards department.
- If the pipes look set to burst, the water supply should be swiftly switched off. Check the stopcocks and ensure that they can be easily turned off and accessed if required.
- Ensure that carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are in working condition and make sure that batteries have already been replaced.
- Have a list handy for all local services, including electricians, plumbers, utility entities, heating engineers, GP surgery and more near the telephone of a senior citizen.
- Regular and daily exercising will help elderly citizens and seniors stay warmer and healthy throughout the entire winter season. If it is icy and cold outside, encourage them to keep exercising and moving around indoors.
- Layers of clothing will help in keeping the elderly warm during winters. Go for thermals and vests, among other options.
- A thermos will help them sip on warm beverages throughout the day, and a hot bottle warmer or hand/back warmer can be put in the microwave periodically and handed to them for staying warm.
- Stock up on all necessary medicines and other supplies well in advance before the onset of the cold and dry season.
- Winterize doors and windows with caulk and weather stripping.
- Close the heat vents and shut the doors in rooms that are not used.
- Put slippers and socks on the elderly person along with a blanket that covers the legs.
- Ensure that a scarf, hat and gloves are worn by the senior or elderly citizen if he/she is venturing outside.
- Always check the weather reports and know that wind, rain and snow may lead to heat loss.
- Have senior citizens change out of wet or damp clothing straight away without any delays.
- Always make sure that proper nutrition is available for the senior citizen to keep the body’s energy and heat sources fuelled.
- Keep the elderly citizen fully hydrated since dry air temperatures outdoors and indoors may lead to dehydration.
- Support the elder in consuming meals regularly for stimulating heat production within the body.
- Encourage senior citizens to bypass consumption of alcohol which may spark heat loss.
- Learn the effects of lowering the temperature with regard to specific medication and OTC (over the counter) medicines.
- Be aware that some fireplaces and space heaters are hazardous while leading to poisoning by carbon monoxide. Be careful about this fact.
- Create an evacuation plan if there is a power outage or if the heat/furnace source suffers a breakdown.
- Always have a proper blueprint for friends and family members along with neighbours to check on senior citizens on a daily or regular basis, particularly during winters.
These tips will help in keeping elderly citizens warm and healthy during winters.