As we settle into another Kiwi winter, frost, rain and very low temperatures, it’s important to be prepared and to keep warm, as the cold can be the biggest threat to the elderly, particularly if they’re feeling unwell.
Here are 8 tips for keeping warm this winter:
Reduce your body heat loss
A lot of our body heat is lost through the head and neck, so even if you’re indoors, when you’re chilly, try wearing a comfortable hat and scarf. We also lose a lot of warmth through our feet, so thick socks and slippers are key to keeping cosy.
For instant warmness
A hot water bottle and an electric blanket are good to quickly relieve you from the cold and to help instantly feel warm. However, they should not be used together as this is a hazard and can be dangerous.
Wearing several layers rather than one thick layer will keep you warmer because the layers trap the warm air and keep the heat close to the body. If you plan to go outside for long periods of time then it’s a good idea to invest in some warm thermals and when it’s really cold, get some thermal underwear and bed socks for bed. A thin merino hat can also be ideal for those cold nights.
If you have a heating system, then get it serviced before we get into the heart of winter as it’s sensible to resolve any issues beforehand and will give you peace of mind knowing you’re all set for when that first cold night draws in. If you have a fire, then getting the chimney swept regularly, will make the heat more efficient in your home.
Keep the draught out
Even when it’s cold outside, you’ll want to open your windows during the day, if only for a few minutes, to remove moisture from your home and let in the fresh air. However, as soon as the sun goes down, it’s a good idea to keep all windows and doors shut and to use draft excluders to stop cold air flowing through your home. Fitting thermal linings to your curtains will also help keep the heat in.
Moving with safety
If there is a slope or steps from your front door to the sidewalk, then you could fit a grab rail to the outdoor area for support in case of icy surfaces. Also throwing some grit onto the ground for those really icy days will also help prevent any falls.
Cook warm meals
Porridge for breakfast and soup for dinner will help keep you warm on the inside. Throughout the day, it’s also good to drink hot drinks, try hot water with lemon if you’re not a fan of tea or coffee.
Get rid of dampness
Cooking, showering and drying clothes indoors all creates moisture in your home, causing dampness. A damp, mouldy home can be harder to heat and cause respiratory illnesses. To minimise dampness, dry your clothes outside, use extractor fans when cooking and showering and remove condensation from windows and doors daily.
Even when taking all the necessary precautions to stay warm this winter, you may think it’s time or has been considering moving into a retirement village, where homes are designed and built with the elderly in mind; all home safety precautions are already in place and home maintenance is taken care of. You will also be apart of a community, with great facilities and friendly neighbourhoods. If you are interested in one of our villas, cottages or studios, then you can request a visit via our contact page here.