Cold Weather Tips for Older Adults
The arrival of the autumnal winds, chilly rain spells and morning frosts can be daunting for most older adults. The anticipation of winter and the challenges it may bring can cause anxiety and worry for many, especially with the presence of coronavirus to add to the list of risks. Staying warm this winter and keeping yourself well is crucial, as we know that winter-related illnesses and deaths are rising year on year.
However, fear not! Following some simple tips and making small changes to your routine can drastically reduce your chances of being adversely affected by our Great British winter. It can be overwhelming trying to find the appropriate advice and guidance online, so we have done the hard work for you, consulting relevant government advice and charity guidelines to bring you the following tips for staying warm this winter, for both inside and outside of the home:
Inside the Home:
- Using a thick pair of curtains to trap heat in your house is a cheap way of keeping your rooms warm. Keep an eye out for the sun shining through into your room, allow the room to warm up and then draw your curtains once the shade arrives to insulate the space.
- A thermal mug is a fantastic way to keep warm; mugs of hot chocolate or tea and coffee on tap will keep the chills at bay.
- A hot water bottle will prove to be a worthy investment – a quick way to access warmth when in bed or in your favourite spot in the living area.
- Heat your house to 18 degrees Celsius, move furniture away from radiators and sources of heat and keep your internal doors closed when not using a room; this will help to keep draughts at bay.
- Using a rug is a great way to keep a living space warm, whether the floor is carpeted or not.
- Radiator panels will ensure the heat stays in your room, plus they’re easy to install and can be either made or bought.
- Draught excluders can prove to be essential if you have gaps under your doors and around your windows.
Eat warming foods like soups, stews and porridge – investing in a slow cooker could be the best thing you ever do!
Suggested Clothing Tips and Tricks:
- It can be tempting to reach for your thickest jumper on a cold day, however, it is better to layer up with thin layers of clothing; this provides an insulated effect and allows you to manage your body temperature with much more accuracy.
- Vests, underskirts, thermal underwear and long johns are essential items that can be reasonably sourced.
- Items of clothing like jumper dresses, thermal lined leggings and long-sleeved t-shirts allow for more fashionable looks that keep you toasty underneath. A fleece gilet is an excellent way of insulating yourself through layering.
- Fleece blankets and scarves are light and easily portable, and perfect for wintry days.
Outside of the Home:
- Plan ahead! Stay abreast of the local weather forecast and plan accordingly – perhaps arrange for your food shop to be delivered by your local supermarket, or even family or friends? Ensure that you have all medication required; contact your local pharmacy and arrange for items to be delivered.
- Ahead of the cold season, plan to have your flu vaccination and any other relevant vaccinations so that you are protected before Jack Frost arrives.
- Get baking! Rather than visiting your favourite café on a freezing day, why not have homemade cake and hot chocolate at chez toi?
- If a trip outside is necessary, (and often blowing off the cobwebs is essential for our mental health) be sure to layer up your clothing, wear a hat and a scarf, and a long thick coat.
- Invest in a good pair of sturdy, waterproof, fur-lined and comfortable boots. These will stand you in good stead once the snow, rain and freezing temperatures arrive.
- Keep a winter pack in your car, ready for those necessary journeys.
If you require any more information about keeping warm in the winter, visit one of the websites below, or contact your local GP practice or age concern charity for further help.