Caring for older relatives during winter

caring for elderly people in winter

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Winter can prove tricky for most, especially our older relatives, and as their younger generations, there’s a lot you can do to make the chilly season much more enjoyable for them.

Mobility aid providers, Ability Superstore, have offered up a few tips to caring for older relatives throughout winter, from handy additions around the home to making their trips outside much safer.

Keep their homes lovely and warm

A comfortable and warm home will keep away any horrible illnesses. A good temperature is around 18C and can be easily be monitored using a thermostat.

Invest in a talking thermometer that will keep your elderly relatives aware of how warm their home is. This is the perfect addition to their home, giving you peace of mind that they’re keeping on top of the temperature when you’re not there.

Why not buy them an electric blanket as a gift? There are plenty of different varieties available, including the standard style that warms up their bed ready for a warm and cosy night’s sleep. There’s also electric blankets designed for keeping their laps warm when sitting in the living room and enjoying a bit of TV.

Top Tip: Electric blankets can be serviced, so if your older relative already has one, call a professional to get it seen to, making sure it’s safe and able to keep them warm throughout winter.

Make sure that their heating is serviced every year to make sure it’s safe and efficient enough to keep their home toasty throughout the colder months. Always use a registered technician to carry out the service. It can be extremely dangerous for someone unqualified to do the job.

A warming casserole or bowl of soup can work wonders for keeping elderly relatives warm, so why not treat them to some home cooked food?

Keep them as safe as possible outdoors

Simple assurances before heading out of the door can dramatically improve their safety of older relatives, and they might even enjoy a gentle stroll in the stunning winter scenery!

First of all, make sure they head out wearing the right clothing. You might not be aware that a few layers of loose, thin clothing is actually more warming than just one thick layer. Thick boots along with thick socks, a hat, gloves and a scarf that can cover their neck, are all important additions to their outdoor winter outfits. The right clothing can protect your older relatives from frostbite and hypothermia, amongst other illnesses too.

If their home has any gardens or driveways, think about stocking up on some salt grit and scattering it across them at least every week. The bags are heavy and they might struggle to lift them themselves. You could also buy them a grab rail to fix next to any steps leading from the home to the gardens, to support them when leaving the home.

While your elderly relatives might not usually need to use a walking stick, they may find them extremely beneficial during winter for additional support along icy pathways. A walking stick should be measured and adjusted to the correct length to be able to fully support them:

You could even invest in some ice picks that slip onto the bottom of their boots, or a sturdier ferrule to fit onto the bottom of their walking stick, if you’re worried they might find winter walking tricky.

*This is a collaborative post*

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