Winter Safety Tips for the Elderly

27 November



Winter conditions can be harmful for our health, especially for elderly people who are more at risk of falling ill in the cold weather. As we age, we can lose body heat faster and become more vulnerable to the effects of cold temperatures such as increased blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and hypothermia.

What is hypothermia
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when the body temperature drops below 35C. Hypothermia is particularly dangerous for elderly people, especially those living alone who may struggle to recognise its symptoms.

Causes of hypothermia

  • • Not wearing enough warm clothes for the cold weather conditions
  • • Staying out in the cold for too long
  • • Falling into cold water and being unable to get out of wet clothes
  • • Living in a cold house with poor heating



Keeping the elderly safe in winter

Keeping the elderly safe whether you’re a care worker, family member or friend will always be one of the top priorities when caring for vulnerable people especially during these difficult times.

Whilst you may live with an elderly parent or friend, or provide live-in care, it’s always important that they are aware of how to keep themselves warm and safe at home in the cold weather. It may also be that you can only provide care at certain times of day or you aren’t able to keep a watchful eye 24/7, therefore helping an elderly person prepare themselves for the hazards of winter is essential.

Whilst we continue to protect each other from coronavirus, staying at home is no guarantee of safety this winter.

We’ve listed the top things to consider when keeping elderly people safe during the winter months whilst protecting them from coronavirus.

Winter safety tips for the elderly

Keep warm

  • • Make sure their house is warm enough. Heat their home at a comfortable temperature or above 18°C (65°F).
  • • Keep their bedroom windows closed at night to keep the heat in. Breathing cold air can increase the risk of getting chest infections.
  • • Ensure they have enough blankets and warm clothing. Several layers of light clothing can trap warm air better than one bulky layer.
  • • Make sure they eat warm and nutritious meals. Keep a flask or lidded mug of warm drinks in easy reach of them.
  • • Sign up for government heating grants and energy saving advice. Visit simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/ for more information.
  • Keep moving – Working out and simple activities such as walking can get our blood flowing and heat up our body naturally. Whilst it is harder to stay active during lockdown, it is important to continue to do as much as we can to help with our overall well-being.

    Encourage elderly people to do more simple and easy exercises at home such as walking from one room to another, gentle stretches and regular standing. For more tips on helping elderly people stay active at home in the winter months, go to www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/staying-safe-and-well-at-home/home-exercises/ or check out our FREE online Zumba Fitness Programme suitable to all fitness levels.

    Get a flu jab – People aged 65 and above are eligible for a FREE flu vaccine as well as people with long-term medical conditions and those who work in the health and social care sector. For more information on how the flu vaccine can protect people at risk of catching flu and its complications, and how to get a free flu jab, go to nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/.

    Regular handwashing – Washing your hands with soap and hot water is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illnesses such as food poisoning, diarrhoea, flu and coronavirus.

    For more tips on how to keep the elderly safe and well during winter, and to protect them from coronavirus, go to: www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/

    Do you need help to support an elderly loved one? Not sure what you’re looking for? Call us FREE on 0800 124 4765 or email care@halesgroup.co.uk to find out more about our personalised homecare services to suit your family’s needs. With Hales Homecare you can ensure that your loved one is in good hands.

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