How to look after the elderly during the current conditions

How to look after the elderly during the current conditions

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Dec, 2022 - 3 mins
Snow at Sunset

Cold weather can be dangerous for the elderly in the community

Currently it’s -2 in the UK according to the met office, with some parts of the UK seeing temperatures closer to -6. It’s a good time to remember how to support those in our community that might be more vulnerable. It is essential to know how to properly look after the elderly during a cold snap and continuous cold weather, as not doing so comes with risks. We have compiled a list of helpful hints and tips that will help you to ensure that you are caring properly for the elderly and vulnerable during this time.

Here are some tips for supporting the elderly during cold weather:

  • Encourage them to dress in layers. Wearing multiple layers of lightweight clothing can help the elderly stay warm, as the layers trap air between them, providing insulation.
  • Help them stay hydrated. Dehydration can exacerbate the effects of cold weather, so it’s important to encourage the elderly to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Keep their living space warm. Make sure the elderly person’s home is adequately heated and that they have access to blankets, warm clothing, and other items that can help them stay warm.
  • Check in on them regularly. Cold weather can be dangerous for the elderly, particularly if they live alone. Make sure to check in on them regularly to ensure they are safe and comfortable.
  • Help them with tasks. The elderly may have difficulty shovelling snow, walking on slippery surfaces, or performing other tasks that can be hazardous in cold weather. Consider offering to help them with these tasks or finding someone else who can.
  • Encourage them to stay active. While it may be tempting to stay inside when it’s cold, it’s important for the elderly to stay active to maintain their strength and mobility. Encourage them to take short walks or do indoor exercises to help them stay active.

Health Risks of Loneliness

People generally are social by nature, and high-quality social relationships can help them live longer, healthier lives. Health care systems are an important, yet underused, partner in identifying loneliness and preventing medical conditions associated with loneliness. With the current energy prices we are seeing more issues with those receiving care needing extra support.

So how can you help?

  • Check in regularly: Make sure to check in on elderly individuals regularly during an energy crisis. This can help you identify any issues or problems they may be experiencing, and allow you to take steps to address them.
  • Help with basic needs: During an energy crisis, elderly individuals may struggle with basic needs such as staying warm or getting access to food and water. Offer to assist with tasks like grocery shopping or picking up medications.
  • Stay in touch: Keep in touch with elderly individuals through phone, email, or other forms of communication to ensure that they have support and a sense of connection.
  • Provide transportation: Offer to provide transportation to elderly individuals who may be unable to leave their homes due to the energy crisis. This can help them access necessary resources and services.
  • Follow emergency plans: If the energy crisis is part of a larger emergency situation, make sure to follow any emergency plans that have been put in place. This can help ensure the safety and well-being of elderly individuals.
  • Keep warm: During an energy crisis, elderly individuals may struggle to stay warm. Offer to bring blankets or other warm items to help them stay comfortable.
  • Stay informed: Keep track of updates and information about the energy crisis, and share this information with elderly individuals to help them stay informed and prepared.
  • Reach out for help: If you are unable to provide adequate support to elderly individuals during an energy crisis, don’t hesitate to reach out to community resources or emergency services for help.
  • Remote monitoring: There are a variety of devices and sensors that can be used to monitor the health of a person at home. For example, wearable devices can track vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure, while smart home devices can monitor things like temperature and humidity.

Consider the above, but make sure the everyone is aware and wishes and requests are taken into consideration.

Whats else can you do

If you think a someone your know needs extra support, you can reach out to your local authority who should be able to find a care agency that can support their needs or specialist befriending services. 

Alternatively an introductory service that can provide personal assistance which can be tiered up as care needs change. Introductory services like Pair my Care allow you to choose the person you want to care for you.

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