Tips for Looking After the Elderly During Winter
Most of us in Oxfordshire will either love or hate winter, but we always need to be aware of the hazards it poses. Therefore, we should all think more proactively about how we can help the elderly. Anyone in Oxfordshire who may be vulnerable could need more than a cup of tea and jumper to keep warm during the season. Here are some tips on care for the elderly.
Preparing for Power Cuts & Loss of Heating:
Energy suppliers for gas and electricity will often have a priority services register. This is not something widely broadcasted, which is a shame because it’s extremely beneficial. Generally, this is a free service which identifies and registers those who are elderly and/or vulnerable in their home. Should the power go out and the supplier need to be notified, the caller would take priority in the call queue as it is deemed as an emergency. If the individual has a high dependency on medical equipment in the home, the supplier can provide a generator. However, this would be in an emergency situation and dependent on the severity of the fault.
Please make sure to call your supplier to register someone who is elderly and/or vulnerable and ask for more information about the service.
We know that the older generation are not wasteful and may sometimes put their pride over health. Often the heating will not be on as much as it should be because they’re afraid they cannot afford it. This is commonly referred to as a ‘Heating or Eating’ lifestyle. Where income is low there is often entitlement to benefits such as Universal Pension Credits or Warm Home Discount (WHD). This is a government incentive to help those who have stretched finances to give some relief and encourage them to use their heating over the winter months. It works so that the money is then applied to the account after winter to help with the costs.
Please call your electricity supplier to find out more about Warm Home Discount and what the criteria is to qualify for the winter payment.
Winter is the perfect excuse to eat and keep our bellies full with delicious hot food. This not only keeps us warm, but extremely happy. Age UK have suggested eating a least one hot meal a day, drinking hot drinks throughout the day and even having one before bed (just try to keep the caffeine low). It is also a good idea to keep the cupboards stocked up. In this age of the internet you can have your shopping delivered to your door throughout Oxfordshire. This saves you from stepping out into the cold.
Getting the yearly flu jab may help you steer clear of feeling groggy and low during winter. If you are over the age of 65, or have any health conditions, the Government suggest that you get the flu jab every year.
To qualify for getting the flu jab from your GP for free you must be:
- 65 or over
- If you receive Carer’s Allowance, or you are the carer of a person whose welfare will be affected if you become unwell.
- You have long-term health conditions
- Living in a long-stay residential care home
Welfare and Mental Well-being
Socialising can help us from feeling low, especially during the cold, dark winter days. Make an effort to see friends and family more, speak with them regularly on the phone and plan visits with each other. Having plans made gives us something to look forward to. There is always plenty going on in Oxfordshire to will help the days go by quicker and back into the summer time where we can warm up again!
Hopefully you’ve found our tips on care for the elderly useful. Please contact Mumby’s Homecare Support to see how our services can help you! Or follow the links below for further reading.
For information on staying fit and well this winter, please visit: www.ageuk.org.uk.
Useful information on keeping warm this winter is also available from www.nhs.uk/livewell/winterhealth