Winter can be an exciting time, but for some this time of the year can make them a little more vulnerable. Ideal Home Care Solutions are advising readers on 10 Top Tips to keep your elderly loved ones this Winter.
1. Stock emergency resources in their homes – Emergency kits must be easily accessible which should include water, flashlight, batteries, radio, and blankets. Elderly individuals, should have at least a seven-day supply of prescription medications and a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water to hand.
2. Keep Warm – For elders, there are significant risks of being too cold, which include dehydration. People with cardiac issues tend to get colder faster, make sure their home is properly insulated and windows are shut to prevent drafts. Thermostats should be set to fairly warm (depending on preference) to prevent hypothermia and prevent pipes from freezing also.
3. Identify Fall Risks – This is a huge issue for seniors and most do not know they are at risk for falls, especially during the winter. Create slip-proof paths and make sure they wear shoes or slippers that grip.
4. Identify Fire Risks – Fires often start from things like overheating electric blankets or space heaters. Candles are always a risk, as well as drying Christmas trees. Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are stocked with fresh batteries and are in good working order, and fire extinguishers are readily available near stoves and fireplaces.
5. Encourage Indoor Activities – Many elderly feel lonely or inactive during this time of year but there are programs available to help. Many libraries deliver books and movies. Churches offer a visitation program of volunteers who provide companionship to housebound parishioners or alternatively contact Ideal Home Care Solutions on 0845 040 5818 for advice on services we offer.
6. Practice Safety Procedures – If your elderly loved one is still driving, be sure they have emergency snow supplies in their car, including heating packs, emergency flares and snow scrapers/brushes, water and blankets, as well as a car phone charger, also make sure to keep the Petrol tank full. Ask your elder to let you know their destination, route and expected time of arrival before they leave the house.
7. Keep an eye on nutrition – A balanced diet becomes even more crucial during the winter when we are less active, We are at risk of catching colds and lacking vitamin D. Be sure your loved one is getting balanced meals that incorporate vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Keep extra food on hand in the freezer as well as bottled or canned fruit juices and non-fat milk powder.
8. Establish Emergency Plans – If power is lost, do you and your loved on know where they will go and what they will need? Have an emergency bag packed with a change of clothing and all medical and care necessities For those with pets have a carrier ready in case pets need to be transported with them.
9. Provide your senior loved one with a mobile phone that is easy to use. Make sure the phone is always charged and has emergency contact numbers pre-entered. Ensure your elder has practiced using the dialing feature. search local retailers and the internet to see the range of mobile phones available with big buttons, easy viewing, and long-lasting batteries.
10. Wrap up! – It’s a good idea for seniors to get out for some fresh air whenever possible wearing layered loose-fitting clothing and water-proof gloves or mittens are best. Wearing a hat protects against heat loss, as close to half of body heat is lost through the head.
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