With the coldest part of the year soon to be upon us, we’ve prepared this useful list of winter warming tips for older people.
Declining circulation and a changing metabolism mean many of us feel the cold more keenly as we get older. There’s also a host of secondary factors that can cause us to feel the cold, such as illness, side-effects of medication and poor nutrition/hydration.
Not only does the cold cause discomfort, but older people are also at an increased risk of developing hypothermia in cold conditions. But, by putting this advice into action, you can help your loved one stay safe and protected throughout winter.
Our winter warming tips for older people
Here are our winter warming tips for older people:
- Consume warm foods and drinks
Consuming warm foods and drinks can help raise your loved one’s body temperature in two ways:
- A instant warming feeling from eating or drinking something warm/hot
- By providing the level of nutrition and hydration needed to maintain a healthy temperature
You may need to encourage them to take these steps, and to provide regular reminders. Make sure they have convenient access to healthy warm foods (such as soups, porridge or stews) and drinks (such as tea or hot chocolate).
- Avoid going outside in harsh weather
Staying indoors as much as possible in harsh weather will help protect them from the cold, as well as the weather conditions that cause the cold to be felt more severely (wind, rain, snow etc.).
Encourage your loved one to check the weather forecast before they leave the house each day. You can also help them by:
- Making sure they have plenty of things at home to keep them entertained and socially connected
- Ensuring they have a ready supply of food and medication to use if stuck inside for a few days
- Helping them arrange transport for any important appointments
- Wear multiple layers
If your loved one is required to leave their home while the weather is less than favourable, encourage them to wear multiple warm layers.
Layering up is much more effective than wearing a single, thick layer when it comes to keeping warm. Advise them to wear a series of layers featuring warm materials such as wool, as well as a waterproof outer layer.
- Stay active
Staying active is a great way for your loved one to keep their body temperature up during winter, and offers many other health benefits, too.
Even if they’re not able to go for a walk outside, you can help them establish a light exercise routine that they can do within the home, or even from their chair.
- Use heating devices
Your loved one can choose from a range of heating devices to help keep them warm, including:
- Electric blankets
- Hot water bottles
- Microwavable wheat bags
Each of these comes with its own risk factors that you need to be aware of. Make sure your loved one is familiar with the instructions and keep an eye out to ensure they’re using the device safely.
Use our winter warming tips for older people to help your loved one stay healthy and comfortable throughout the colder months.