Top tips for keeping seniors warm this winter
With winter in full flow, those with senior friends and relatives will be considering the best tactics for keeping the elderly warm during the chillier months.
As we age, our bodies tend to lose fat, which acts as a natural insulator. This means it becomes harder for us to maintain optimum body temperature. So it’s extra important to think carefully about keeping warm in winter as an elderly person, or somebody with older loved ones.
Here are some simple tips that can make a big difference to staying cosy through the winter months.
1. Move around often
Movement, even in small amounts, helps to keep blood pumping around the body and in turn, helps us stay warmer. Older people may not be as active as they once were, but making sure they move around frequently while at home can make a huge difference when it comes to staying warm – and exercise has a positive impact on other aspects of health too.
Remind your loved one to get up and move around regularly – it’s best not to stay seated in one place for more than an hour at a time.
2. Eat and drink hot food
Consuming enough calories is essential to staying warm. And in winter, hot meals and drinks are really effective at raising and maintaining body temperature. Make sure older people are eating at least one hot meal a day, and warm drinks throughout the day.
It’s also key to eat at regular intervals, even if it’s just something small. Make sure your loved one’s cupboards stay stocked and ensure they have snacks to grab, plus easy meals that can be prepared quickly and without too much effort.
3. Keep the home warm
No matter what you do to keep an elderly person warm, unless their environment is adequately heated, they’ll struggle to maintain a healthy body temperature. Indoor temperatures should be kept at a minimum of 18℃ during the day.
To limit energy bills, turn radiators down in rooms that are not often used, and shut doors to keep the heat contained.
Consider buying draught excluders to put under doors, and using rugs on wood floors to keep the heat in, too.
4. Wear layers
It’s better to wear several thinner layers than one thick layer, because warm air gets trapped between the layers. So make sure your loved one has plenty of clothing options that they can layer up to stay as warm as possible.
Roll-neck tops and jumpers offer handy extra coverage, while materials such as wool are natural insulators. A lot of body heat is lost through hands, feet and the tops of heads, so have slippers and warm socks on hand for your loved one to wear around the house, as well as gloves and a hat for venturing outside.
5. Use accessories
For those really chilly days, a hot water bottle can make a huge difference when it comes to an older person staying warm. Alternatively, an electric blanket can help keep them cosy at night.
But don’t underestimate the power of a simple blanket, so have a couple on hand around the home to pop over their legs or around their shoulders. Look for wool or a thermal material for extra warmth.
For extra help keeping elderly people healthy in winter, contact Wessex Care today.