Staying safe and well during these colder months

The colder months can affect more than they ever used to. We have put together a few ways of staying safe and warm

Keeping warm and safe in the winter is so important, especially as we get older.

Stop the spread of germs

The Welsh Government have advise regarding this www.gov.wales/people-wales-reminded-how-they-can-help-stop-spread-respiratory-infections

Regularly washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to stop germs spreading and reducing the risk of illness. If you’re out and about, carry hand sanitiser in case you can’t access a bathroom to wash your hands.

If its not too cold you can leave windows ajar when meeting people indoors. Avoid coming into close contact with people that are unwell.

When out and about, take extra care

Its lovely to be able to go out and get some fresh air during the colder months, especially if the weather has been wet for a while.  If it has been raining, take care on fallen wet leaves. During the winter months ice and slow can really increase your risk of a fall.

If you are going outdoors, non-slip study shoes are helpful.

if driving allow extra time for journeys and other advice from The AA http://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/seasonal/winter

Eat well

During the winter months we tend to spend more time indoors, the dark days and sometimes miserable weather doesn’t keep us very motivated to do much, this can include preparing and making meals. It is so important to eat a good range of foods to provide us with the nutrients and vitamins we need. Try to include fruit and vegetables in your daily diet if you can, they don’t have to be fresh, tinned and frozen can be just as good. These can also be helpful to keep your cupboard and freezer stocked up in case you can’t get to shops due to illness or bad weather.

You could even do your food shopping online and get it delivered to your door. Most supermarkets offer an online ordering and delivery service.

The British Heart Foundation has put together some good advice on eating well throughout the winter, which you can read more www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/healthy-eating-winter-tips 

Warm drinks and hot food can help to keep warm and stay hydrated during the day.

Stock up

Winter weather can be very unpredictable and can stop you from getting out and about, it’s a good idea to try and be prepared.

Think about stocking up on cold remedies as well as food in case you are unable to leave your home. Many pharmacies offer free NHS perscription delivery service to your home. Below are some useful links that may help you with this:

http://www.boots.com/prescription-support/prescription-delivery-service

http://well.co.uk/prescriptions/prescription-delivery/

http://www.lloydsdirect.co.uk/delivery-and-collection

It’s a good idea to have some food and drink that doesn’t require any electricity or heat to prepare.  A bottle of water could be handy if your water supply is interrupted, also torches and spare batteries can be helpful in case of a power cut.

In the event of a power cut, call 105.  You can report this to them and get information and advice if there is one in your area.

Keep moving

A little bit of activity now and then is a great way to help you keep warm, as well as help you maintain strength and mobility. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to keeping moving. It’s so it’s important you do something that feels right but importantly feels safe and comfortable for you.

Moving more also helps your thinking skills like problem solving, decision making and remembering words and facts. So, if you can, try not to sit still for more than an hour at a time. If that’s not possible, try to move your arms or legs for a few minutes.

Keeping warm indoors

Air is cooler at ground level – so you could even pop your feet up on something, if you’re sitting down, wrap up with a shawl or blanket.  If you struggle to stay warm in bed, try wearing some warmer layers. If it’s particularly cold, thermal underwear and bed socks are a good idea – even a hat can really help you keep warm.  Use a hot water bottle, heat bag or an electric blanket to warm the bed – but never use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket together.

A hot drink and warm food can also help to keep warm.

Wrap up well

Wearing several thin layers will keep you warmer than wearing one thick layer, as layers trap warm air between them. Wearing plenty of layers is the best way to keep warm in winter.

It’s a good idea to be prepared because the temperature can drop significantly when the sun goes in. If you’re heading out, make sure you take some extra layers – even if you don’t think you’ll need them immediately. Pack accessories such as gloves, a hat and scarf can help to keep in the warmth, our bodies react to the cold by redirecting our blood away from our hands and feet and towards our vital organs, so part of keeping our hands and feet warm is about keeping our whole body warm.