11 December 2018
Keeping warm in the winter is particularly important for the elderly. Muscle mass decreases with age and circulation decreases as blood vessels lose elasticity, thinning the fat layer under the skin which helps to conserve heat. These biological factors mean that the elderly can simply feel the cold more.
Similarly, winter can be particularly unpleasant for those who suffer from cardiovascular and circulatory conditions. A reduction in body heat constricts blood vessels, making it more difficult for oxygen to reach the entire body, meaning common side effects could be worsened.
Given all of the above, keeping warm this winter should be high up on the priority list, especially for the elderly. There are a lot of basic precautions that can be taken to ensure those of a more senior age stay warm and safe this winter
There are a number of things you can do if you’re wanting to increase your body temperature and keep warm this winter.
1. Wearing several thin layers, preferably wool or thermal, rather than one thick one keeps heat close to the body, making it more difficult to escape and subsequently keeping you warmer.
2. The majority of body heat is lost through the head and the feet. Bearing this in mind, thick socks with slippers (or boots when venturing out) and a woolly hat and scarf is a winter warmer must.
3. The ideal living room temperature for an elderly person is said to be around 21C and the bedroom around 18C. However if you’re conscious of the gas bills, we’d recommend keeping a hot water bottle, shawl or blanket to hand.
4. If you’re going to spend money heating your home to the optimum temperature you might want to consider the best ways of ensuring you keep the warmth in. Closing curtains and vents will help minimise any drafts and investing in draft excluders and keyhole covers could be a wise move, especially when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
In addition to all of the above, prevention and precautionary measures to ensure your home is ready for winter can be wise to start thinking about. To start with, it’d be wise to make sure your boiler has been serviced and is more than ready to combat the cooler weather.
If your house feels cold you might want to look into whether there are any available benefits, grants or government schemes for making your home more energy efficient through cavity wall insulation. The government’s energy grants calculator is a great place to start.
Although we would always advise staying indoors when the weather is particularly bad, if you have to go out it would be wise planning ahead and having grab bars or handrails installed at the front of the house, especially where there’s any external steps. Add an external security light for when the dark mornings and evenings draw in.
With a bit of planning and by taking basic precautions, you can ensure you or a loved one stay warm this winter.
More Ability, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshires only 5* rated bathroom adaptation company. Specialising in accessible, mobility and disabled bathroom solutions we are extremely proud of the exceptional service we continuously deliver from design right through to installation and after care. Whether you want a future proofed solution or require a more specialist adaptation in order to remain independent at home More Ability can help create a safe space to bathe for you or your loved ones.