Keeping seniors warm during a cold spell

Advice from Age UK on the importance of keeping warm during a cold spell

It is so important to keep warm during a cold spell, but especially important as we get older, as then we can become more vulnerable to the affects of colder weather.

Here is some advice from Age UK on how to stay warm and well this winter:

  • Keep Moving

A bit of activity now and then is a great way to keep warm, as well as maintaining strength and mobility. Try not to sit still for more than an hour at a time. Whatever ways in which you can keep moving are great, just make sure it feels right and is safe for you.

  • Hot food and drinks

Hot food and drinks can help you to keep warm, so try to have at least one hot meal a day and as many hot drinks as you can. It’s also a good idea to keep your cupboards stocked with some basics just in case you can’t get out to the shops.

  • Make sure your home is warm enough

Try to heat your home to a steady and comfortable temperature throughout the day in the rooms you use the most, such as the living room and bedroom – usually around 18°c (64°f) is ideal. If there are rooms you don’t use, like a spare bedroom, turn off the radiators in that room and close the doors. This will help you save energy costs while keeping warm in the winter. At dusk, close all the curtains and keep the windows closed to help keep heat in when the weather’s at it’s coldest.

  • Wrap up well

Wearing plenty of layers is the best way to keep warm in winter. If you’re heading out, make sure you take some extra layers – even if you don’t need them immediately. It’s a good idea to be prepared because the temperature can drop significantly when the sun goes in. Wearing several thin layers will keep you warmer than wearing one thick layer, as layers trap warm air between them. 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.

  • Be aware of your heart and your circulation

The cold can increase the risk of a stroke or heart attack, as well as hypothermia. If you think you or someone else is experiencing any of these symptoms call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

For a stroke, think FAST

F – Is the Face drooping on one side?

A – Can the person raise both Arms and keep them there?

S – Is Speech slurred?

T – Time to call 999 if you spot any one of these signs

  • Take extra care when out and about

 It’s important to be careful when out and about. In the autumn, fallen leaves and rain can make the ground very slippery. And in winter, ice and snow can seriously increase your risk of falls. You might find that shoes with non-slip soles are helpful.

Age UK are there to help.

They offer support through their free advice line on 0800 6781602. Lines are open 8am-7pm 365 days a year. They also have specialist advisors at over 120 local Age UK stores.