Now the clocks have gone back the hours of daylight seem very short. It’s a time of year, when as older people we can start to feel a sense of isolation as we are not so keen to go out in the cold and the dark. As temperatures drop it is even more important that we take care of our health. A little preparation will make sure we stay warm and healthy.
10 ways to keep warm this Winter
- No-one enjoys the cold. It’s a good time to make sure your heating is working so have your boiler serviced; if you have an open fire, have your chimney swept. If you have a wood burner or gas or coal fire make sure there is adequate ventilation.
- Make sure your smoke alarm is working. You can ask your local fire service to check your home for fire safety. It’s free and you may be eligible to get free smoke alarms fitted.
- Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in each room that has a gas appliance.
- Ask your family or friends if they could call or visit you more often if there’s an extended period of cold weather.
- Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather. Some councils provide free bags of the mix, if you or someone else can pick them up. Otherwise you could try a local DIY store.
- Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house. Your pharmacist can make suggestions and also advise you on how to manage minor illnesses.
- Follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab. Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast. Ask your local pharmacy if they offer a prescription pick-up and delivery service.
- Keep a radio and torch handy in case of a power cut. Keep your mobile phone, laptop or tablet fully charged, so you can use the battery power if there’s no electricity.
- Keep moving. Staying active is not only essential for your general wellbeing and fitness – it also generates heat and helps to keep you warm. When you’re indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour. Get up and walk around, make yourself a warm drink and spread any chores throughout the day. Chair- based exercises are helpful if walking is difficult, along with moving your arms and legs and wiggling your toes.
- Eat well. Hot meals and drinks help to keep you warm, so eat at least one hot meal each day and have hot drinks during the day. Include a good range of foods including fruit and vegetables each day, so that you’re getting plenty of nutrients and vitamins.