December may have come and gone but there are still some cold months on their way – so how do we keep safe and warm in Winter?
As people get older, their bodies respond differently to the cold which means the elderly and vulnerable are more susceptible to health problems and accidents such as trips and falls especially during the winter months. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep well in winter. Whether you are taking care of yourself or a loved one, we have put together a useful guide and selected some of our handy aids to help you to stay warm and safe in winter, both indoors and out.
Soak in the bath
Treat yourself to a bath to keep yourself relaxed, warm and soothe any aching joints you may have. If you’re finding it difficult to get in and out of the tub, we have bathroom aids available to give you a helping hand to enjoy the pleasures of having a bath again.
Getting in and out of the bath can be quite a balancing act. Bath boards and bath seats are a very simple way to adapt your bathroom, giving you the confidence and peace of mind to get in and out the bath safely every time.
Enjoy a top to toe clean with our range of washing aids and bath sponges – allowing you to exfoliate, clean between your toes and apply lotion with ease.
Keep your feet warm
When you are in the house wear thick socks or fleecy slippers with non-slip bottoms.
Our combined shoehorn, shoe-helper and reacher/grabber makes bending down and wrestling your feet into shoes a thing of the past. Designed for easy use by those who struggle to bend or reach their feet, the shoe helper claw tightly grips and holds the shoe into place while the contoured plastic shoe horn guides the foot into the shoe with ease. The shoe wear helper also doubles up as a grabber, so you can tidy away your shoes or slippers after use
Layer up for warmth
As people age, they produce less body heat, making them susceptible to hypothermia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and severe arthritis. If you have arthritis or joint pain, extremely cold weather can make this worse so always make sure you wear a pair of gloves.
Hats are the perfect winter accessory – keep your ears protected from the cold and wind.
If you are at home, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket in bed, put a fleece blanket across your lap or around your shoulders. Build up thin layers of clothing to create warmth.
Our dressing aids can make the start of your day so much easier if you have limited flexibility or mobility. Pain and stiffness in your joints can make everyday routines difficult.
The Ezy-Up Trouser Assist acts as an invaluable extra set of hands for pulling up trousers, skirts and underwear without having to ask for help. The Classic Pro Reacher Grabber Tool is used by over 82% of our customers for dressing. There is a handy dressing post at the jaw end of the reacher and the hooked trigger is great for putting on your coat or jumper.
Avoiding slips and falls
Experiencing a slip or a fall can be devastating but staying active and being able to keep your independence both in the home and while out and about is so important. Poor circulation and loss of muscle affects older people much more than any other group.
Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure your health and safety during the winter:
Grab rails are brilliant safety devices for going up and down stairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bath without injuring yourself.
Use one of our reacher/grabber tools to avoid bending, reaching and potentially tripping in the kitchen.
Plan ahead, plan trips around the weather, allow enough time to get where you are going and look for the safest route to your destination, especially when walking. When climbing out of vehicles always hold onto the door for support.
Try and wear boots that are not only warm, but also have a good grip on the bottom to prevent slips and falls.
Avoiding the winter blues
The winter months can be especially challenging if you are limited by reduced mobility or illness. It is estimated that 15-20% of adults over 65 experience seasonal depression.
Reach out to family members, neighbours or friends if you are feeling lonely. A short, daily phone call can make a big difference to your mental health and wellbeing during the colder months.
This article from Daily Caring outlines four ways you can prevent and manage seasonal depression.
Do you have a top tip that could help someone else this winter? Give us a call on 01531 635678 or email [email protected]
Driven by a passion to make a positive difference in people’s lives, we take pride in helping you maintain your independence wherever you are.