Are you over 65 or do you have a long-term condition? As the winter months approach, it’s time we gain knowledge and prepare for the impact these cold and potentially life threatening months hold in store. Age UK estimates that as many as 25,000 over 65’s could die unnecessarily because of the cold weather, amounting to 206 deaths a day or one death every seven minutes. The charity also found that 35% of elderly people were worrying about being able to keep warm at home during winter due to the high energy costs.
Previous research shows that the cold weather can dramatically increase the risk of health problems occurring in older people, including heart attacks and strokes, respiratory problems and pneumonia, all due to the body having to work harder to maintain the body’s core temperature. Problems such as feeling isolated and lonely is also known to have an adequate impact on physical and mental health.
Falls contribute greatly to the risk of elderly people leaving their home, which is a factor for them not to leave the house for weeks at a time. This can lead to them being short of medications and food and of course could lead to isolation and loneliness. In advance you should get any prescription medicines stocked up before the holidays start on the24th December.
There are also many common winter ailments such as a cold, cough or sore throat. The best remedies for these are:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Have at least one hot meal a day
- Talk to your pharmacist for advice on which medicines to have in your medicine cabinet
There are many things that you can do to ensure an elder you know is safe this winter. Something as simple as giving them a quick visit to make sure they have everything they need and are warm enough. Offer to go to the local shop for them so they don’t have to put themselves at risk. If they are to venture outside make sure they wrap up well and have a scarf covering their mouth to prevent them breathing too much cold air. Shoes with good grip are also an essential item to wear.
Five things you are recommended to do over the winter months:
- Ensure you get your flu jab
- Keep your home at a minimum of 18° (65°F)
- Research any financial schemes that can help to pay for your heating
- Visit your local pharmacist if you begin to feel unwell
- Look out for other people who could use your help over the winter
To help keep your feet healthy and warm Repton Medical offer Non-Skid Socks to fight against falls and the health risks associated with being cold. To receive your free sampleof our Fall Management Sock please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to see our full range of Fall Prevention products.