If you have older relatives or neighbors who are over 65 then make sure you know they are warm this winter. As we get older, we become more susceptible to cold and this can leave many people vulnerable, especially if they are also worried about heating costs. By keeping warm inside and outside the home, it is possible to reduce the risk of health complications associated with cold weather.
The most important thing is to check the heating system because it must run effectively and efficiently. Check smoke alarms are working properly and install a carbon monoxide alarm if gas appliances are used. For advice from a Boiler installation Bristol firm, visit a site like www.greenerhomesgroup.co.uk/boiler-installations.html
Here are some more steps you can take to make sure the elderly are safe and warm when the temperature drops:
Check to see if they receive all they are entitled to in terms of financial aid related to their energy bills.
Save some salt and sand, which is handy to put on steps and walkways for them if it ices over.
Would they benefit from grab rails in the front or back of their property?
Check that they have had their flu jab at the GP.
Ask if they have medicine that needs collecting or repeat prescriptions to pick up.
Make sure that they have basic cold medicines and supplies readily available.
Keep their pantry stocked and offer to shop for them if needs be. Getting an online delivery might be much easier for them.
Keeping a torch fully charged in case of a power outage.
Make sure they have a lot of layers to wear, warm shoes or non-slip shoes.
As well as the physical constraints of the cold weather, elderly people living alone may suffer emotional risks as well. They may feel that they have become isolated from friends and community. It is important to maintain regular contact by calling in or calling on the phone. Even better, invite them to stay with you for a while so you can make sure that they are safe and well.
If this is not possible then make sure their thermostat set to 68 degrees to prevent hypothermia and frozen pipes. Try to reduce the potential risk of falling by assessing their homes and suggesting any changes that might make things easier for them to move around. If they are still driving, then be sure to check they have emergency supplies in their vehicles. Things like scrapers, spare water, blankets and flares are easy to buy and must be carried when taking a vehicle out in poor weather. Should they have a mobile phone then this must be charged up. Check if they are happy to let you know when they are going out and when they will return, this is extra protection.
Check around the property and keep an eye out for gaps in doors and windows that may cause a draft. Laying down draft excluders or foam slips can prevent heat from escaping. If there are spare rooms no longer in use, then turn off the radiators and keeps the doors closed. Placing foil behind the radiator will reflect more heat back into the room and is a great tip for helping to keep an old friend or loved one just a little warmer this winter.