Keeping warm through winter is a great way to help you stay well. Cold weather can increase the risk of certain illnesses such as flu and pneumonia as well as injuries related to falls.
At Guardian Angels, we’re always aware of the fact that most of our clients are at an increased risk during cold weather. If you meet any of the following criteria, you are considered by the NHS as ‘most vulnerable’.
- Aged 65 or older
- Living with a long term health condition e.g. heart disease, diabetes etc.
- Living with a disability
- Living with a mental health condition
- Living on a low income
- Keeping up to date with the weather forecast is a great way to make sure you’re not caught unaware by a nasty cold snap. You can listen to local weather reports on TV, radio and online.
- Make sure that all your warm winter clothes are easily accessible. Multiple thin layers are a great option as this traps more heat close to your body. Choose items such as cardigans which are easier to put on and take off than pullover jumpers. If you do struggle with changing clothes by yourself, a blanket might be an easier choice. Thick socks and slippers are an absolute must to keep those toes warm and promote good circulation.
- Hot meals are very important to keeping yourself warm and fuelled throughout the icy season. Our CareAngels can help you stock the cupboards and prepare your meals to make sure that you’re getting everything that you need.
- If you can, servicing your heating system can be a great way to reduce the risk of a mid-winter boiler failure.
Keep your home warm
There are plenty of small, low cost adaptations that you can make around the home to keep you more comfortable. Think about draft excluders and even key hole covers. You can also make simple changes that cost absolutely nothing! Keeping curtains drawn for example, this helps keep all the lovely warm air in. Even wearing a hat and/or scarf indoors can be a huge help to keep the draughts off of your neck. If you need help with your heating or one of our CareAngels to put something in place for you, let us know.
Keeping your home heated can be quite costly. Fortunately there is plenty of help available in the form of grants and energy efficiency schemes. The Energy Saving Trust can provide helpful information about what may be available to you. https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/
Protecting your health
- Flu vaccinations are a great way to increase your chances of staying healthy over the winter period. You will be entitled to a free vaccination at your local GP surgery if you meet any of the following criteria:
- are 65 years old or over
- are pregnant
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility
- receive a carer’s allowance, or you’re the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- have certain medical conditions
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma (that requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment, or has led to hospital admission in the past), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
Alternatively, you can pay to have a flu vaccination at your local pharmacy. Prices range from around £7 to £13.
Some GPs may offer a flu vaccination on a home visit however usually you are required to go to the surgery. If you are in need of someone to assist with this, one of our CareAngels can take you to your appointment and support you throughout.
It’s always a good idea to pop in on a vulnerable neighbour if you can or invite them round for a warm cup of tea. Please pass on these tips if you think that a friend or relative may also find them helpful.
If you need any help over the winter season, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01784 611611. Our CareAngels are ready to help you through the winter season!