Self Care Week: Winter health for older people

Home Instead Brighton, Hove & Shoreham is supporting ‘Self-Care Week’ 2020. Now more than ever, it is so important to raise awareness and promote self-care within and around the most vulnerable members of our communities. So, how can older people maintain their health and wellbeing in their own homes this winter? Many of us are separated from our friends and family, now is a crucial time to encourage:

- A nutritionally balanced diet
- Regular exercise (even if minimal, or armchair based)
- Good mental wellness

The pandemic has had a huge impact on all our lives. Statistics from an Age UK study show 33% of senior respondents reported feeling more anxious since the start of the pandemic and 25% felt less confident about spending time with family.

So, what advice can we give the elderly to prepare for the winter months? 

1) Try to keep moving and stay active if you can. If you can’t get up and walk around, try moving your arms and legs whilst sitting down. If you manage to do exercises this should warm you up!

2) Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated and eat when you can. Sometimes it may be easier to eat little and often if you find eating big meals too much.

3) Keep in contact with your friends and family to avoid loneliness. You could try setting up a Skype or Zoom call if you have a computer, phone or tablet. Alternatively, call upon a local befriender in the community.

4) Try your best to keep warm. Think about ways to try and conserve the heat in your rooms so it is not escaping, but do not block anything that could cause a hazard.

5) If you are feeling unwell do not hesitate to seek medical help. If you feel worried about something call 111 if you cannot get through to your GP.

6) We would recommend that you have a flu vaccination annually, if possible. If you are 65+ this will also help you fight off other illnesses.

7) Make sure your finances are winter-proof as it can be an expensive time of year with higher bills and Christmas.

A message we would like to share with everyone is to please take the time to care for yourself! Self-care can have hugely positive effects; reducing stress, improving relationships and increasing general wellbeing. Having a well-cared for body and mind means you are simply being mindful of your own needs - once you take care of yourself you are then better able to meet the needs of others.

At Home Instead Brighton, Hove & Shoreham, we accompany many families through a tough journey of deteriorating physical and/or mental health of those who are ageing. Our mission is to make this journey as easy as possible for everyone. If you would like to speak to someone at Home Instead Brighton, Hove & Shoreham please don’t hesitate to get in touch - you can call Liz Brackley on 01273 284090 or email [email protected]