The cold weather is something to which the elderly are especially vulnerable. Our metabolisms begin to slow as we get older, which unfortunately increases our susceptibility to such conditions as frostbite and hypothermia. Here are several measures that you can take if you are elderly to keep yourself warm this winter.
Try to remain active
Periods of movement help the body to stay warm, so try not to remain sitting still for too long. Alternating periods of rest with activity is a great idea so that you remain mobile and warm, and this can be achieved by spreading any chores you need to do throughout the day. You should be especially vigilant for any feelings of numbness as this may indicate a need for medical treatment. You should not spend too much time outside and should remain indoors if it is very windy or cold.
Keep your home warm
You can keep your home warm by turning up your thermostat, heating your living room to around 18-21 degrees Celsius (64-70 degrees Fahrenheit) and the rest of the house to around at least 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit). You should remember to heat all of the rooms that you use throughout the day. Ensure that your living room is kept warm throughout the day and that you heat your bedroom before going to bed. You should try to keep the temperature in your bedroom above 18 degrees (65 degrees Fahrenheit) Celsius overnight. As part of your home heating, you should also ensure that your electric blanket is safe to use by getting it tested every three years.
Insulation is another great way of keeping your home warm while also helping you to have bills. This could involve fitting draught-proofing so that any gaps around doors or windows are sealed, in addition to insulating wall cavities.
Have regular hot meals and hot drinks
Eating well is another way of helping to maintain your energy levels during the winter, which in turn allows you to keep warm. Have plenty of hot food and drinks and plan your meals during the day, keeping your diet as varied as possible.
Wrap up – even indoors
You can also keep warm by wearing warm clothes. Try wearing several thin layers of clothing rather than one thick one, as this can provide more insulation and heat retention. Also remember to put on a coat, hat, gloves, scarf and warm shoes or boots when you venture outside. The clothes that you wear should be made of wool, cotton, or fleecy synthetic fibres. Don’t forget, too, to wear bed socks or thermal underwear at night.
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