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Winter tips for older people

Story by Laura Ryder

Friday, 14th February, 2014 1:39pm

Winter tips for older people

Senior Help Line, the phone service for older people, has today published a list of winter tips to help people cope with the changing weather. CEO Aine Brady is hoping the people of Ireland will spread the tips (listed below) far and wide, particularly in light of deteriorating weather conditions over the past number of days.


Senior Helpline Winter Tips
Keep Warm
Dress for warmth, and wear plenty of layers which trap the heat rather than one heavy garment. Fill a hot water bottle and have it on your lap during the day. Check that your radiators are not blocked and that they are bled if needed.

Stay Connected
When the weather is dry and not too cold, try to get outside and meet people. Don’t forget to wear a hat, gloves and scarf and non slip boots on icy days. Stay in touch with neighbours, family and friends.

Keep Active
If it is too cold and windy to get outside, keep active indoors. Don’t sit for hours at a time. Stand up and move around the house at least once an hour. Try some chair-based exercises - wiggle your toes, shake your hands, move your head side to side and move your arms up and down.

Exercise Your Brain
Keeping an active mind is very important, particularly as we get older. Read books, do crosswords or puzzles, keep up to date with current affairs.

Check your smoke alarms
Not just advice for older people, smoke alarms can save your life.

Get the ‘flu jab
As an older person, you are at a greatest risk of getting the flu, which can have more severe consequences in your age group. The vaccine protects you for about one year and should be taken annually. If you have a medical card or a GP visit card, the vaccine and consultation are free.

Call Senior Help Line
Don’t be alone. Senior Help Line is at the end of the line every day of the year, winter and summer from 10am till 10pm. LoCall 1850 440 444. We look forward to hearing from you.

Be Safe at Home
Be careful about opening the door particularly at night. Invest in a door viewer to see who is calling, and a door chain to control entrance to your home as necessary. Always ask for identification from people calling to your door.

Drive Carefully
Arrange for your car to have a winter service, get the oil checked, make sure the brakes are working properly and tyres are at the correct pressure this can help keep you safe. Keep a de-mister, and a light rug or jumper in the car.

Eat Healthy
Soups, stews and curries are a good choice in winter, and you can always make enough for a few days. Start a store cupboard and stock it with tinned soup, tinned fish, baked beans, pasta and rice to keep you going should you become snowed in.

Reach Out
The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help if you need it. This might mean asking for a lift to church, to the local shops, to the pharmacy or even getting help with bringing in coal or fuel.

For Everyone else
Taking a moment out of your day to think of the older people in your lives can make a massive difference to them. A phone call or a short visit won’t take you long but it will mean the world to someone else.

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