With autumn here and winter creeping ever so closer, there is certainly a nip in the air. With this weather comes certain obstacles, especially for elderly people. As a younger person, there are plenty of things you can do to make these chilly seasons a lot more enjoyable for them.
Avoiding Slips and Falls
The first thing you can do to help your elderly friend or relative is to find a good, sturdy walking stick or mobility aid. This will not only reduce the strain on the legs and the knees, but it will also provide that extra bit of stability for a whole host of outdoor activities.
Many people believe it is only the height of the user that determines the walking stick height. But in reality, people come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and proportions. The secret to measuring your walking stick is by following this method:
Once you have helped them choose the perfect walking stick, make sure you accompany them on a couple of walks as they get used to the conditions. If you notice they are struggling, perhaps invest in a sturdy ferrule to put at the bottom of the stick.
If they have a garden or driveway, make sure it is gritted each week, as the bags can be too heavy for an elderly person to lift. You could also buy them a handrail if they have slippy steps at the front door.
The Right Clothes
Having the correct indoor and outdoor clothing is essential. Make sure they are a wearing at least a couple of layers as this is more effective than just one thick layer. Thick shoes for outside and nice warm slippers for indoors will keep their toes from freezing. Thick socks, gloves, a hat, and a scarf will ensure their face avoids a chill, as well as protection from illnesses.
Try and keep the temperature inside their home above 18 degrees, as being alone in a cold house can cause many problems, including hypothermia. Help out your elderly friend or relative by providing them with a talking thermometer. This will help them keep on top of the temperature in their home when you are not around.
Also, try and organise it so their heating is serviced each year by a professional. This will make sure everything is safe and cost effective to keep their home warm throughout the cold months.
Perhaps treat them to a lovely home cooked meal like a hot bowl of soup or some shepherd’s pie. This will give you peace of mind that you are doing all you can to ensure they are eating enough.
If you need more information on looking after elderly people in cold weather, check out the NHS guide on winter health.
This guest post was provided by Rachel Campbell, a Digital PR Executive for Ability Superstore (https://www.abilitysuperstore.com/)