As the cold nights draw in and the weather turns colder, we want to turn our attention to the importance of older people staying warm in the winter.
There are many reasons why the cold can have negative effects on over 65’s, but together, we can help your loved one to stay warm and well.
The main way we ensure our residents stay warm is to heat our homes properly, this means at least 21°Cin living areas and 18°Cin bedrooms.
However, even with appropriately heated rooms, older adults can lose body heat quickly due to changes in their bodies that make it harder for them to be aware that they are cold. For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse.
Here are our top tips to keeping warm and well:
- Dressing warmly on cold days even if staying indoors. This could mean investing in some extra jumpers for your loved one, or a blanket they can throw over their legs if they are watching TV, as well as ensuring socks and slippers/shoes are always worn when not in bed.
- At night, it is a good idea to invest in some long underwear for under your loved one’s pyjamas, as well as using extra covers or a winter duvet. Wearing a night cap or hat could also help prevent losing any heat.
- Eating plenty of the right types of food is also vitally important to staying cosy and well. Fat helps us all stay warm and losing too much of it will make it harder for anyone, but especially older people. We adapt our menus to suit the winter periods with lots of wholesome soups, stews and pies, packed with vegetables, to provide appetising and filling choices for our residents.
- Staying active is also important, as poor circulation and loss of muscle affects older people more than any other group. Encouraging your loved one to take a walk around the home will help them warm up and get their circulation pumping. We run regular indoor exercise events, tailored to our residents, ensuring that even if they have limited movement, they are getting regular exercise.
- Our immune system helps us fight off germs and infections but unfortunately, the older we get, the weaker the immune system. Last year over 60% of cases of flu that needed hospital treatment were in people over 65. This is why it is vital your loved one receives their flu jab. At Borough Care, our dispensing pharmacy, Scorah, provide flu jabs for our residents and our staff. Scorah will be visiting all of our homes and head office, throughout October, to ensure everyone who wants a flu jab has one. To find out more, speak to your Home Manager.
Our staff are trained to ensure all our residents stay as healthy as possible throughout the winter. If you’d like to have a chat about your loved one staying warm, please speak to a member of staff who will be able to help.