The cold weather can exacerbate some health problems and sometimes lead to further serious complications, especially in the over 65’s.

Changes to our bodies as we age means that the cold weather affects us more than it used to, additionally this year we are now living with coronavirus which can affect the elderly quite severely.

 

What can we do?

Our immune system weakens as we age, this means we are less able to fend off viruses. We also lose muscle mass which keeps us warm and toasty in the winter months, the cold also makes health conditions harder to manage and can affect our hearts and circulation.

 

Keep your home warm

Keeping your home at a steady and comfortable temperature during the day ensures your body stays at a constant temperature throughout the day. Making sure you are warm and cozy means your body temperature doesn’t drop and leave you susceptible to health problems.

Here are some tips to keeping your home warm in the colder months.

 

Wrap up warm when leaving the house

It’s important to remember now the clocks have gone back that the temperature drops as soon as the sun does down, so if you are heading out later in the day remember to layer up and take some woolies out with you.

Keeping your hands and feet warm is just as important as our bodies can react to being cold by re-directing our blood supply away from our extremities to our vital organs.

 

Keep moving

It is important to keep moving during the winter months, even a small amount of activity can help keep your strength up and help with mobility.

If you aren’t sure how to start, take a look here for some tips on how to exercise as you get older.

 

Get your flu jab!

Anyone aged 65 or older is entitled to a free flu jab from your doctor or pharmacist, you may also be eligible for the Pneumo vaccine which helps to protect you from Pneumonia – please check with your healthcare professional.

The Government have announced that several additional groups are able to get the free flu jab this year. This is to help relieve pressure on the NHS should there be increased coronavirus infection over the winter months.

You can get a free flu jab from your GP or pharmacist if:

  • You are aged 65 and over
  • You live in residential care or another long-stay care facility
  • You provide care for an older or disabled person
  • You live in the same household as someone who is on the Shielded Patient List or is immunocompromised
  • People of any age who have certain health conditions. A full list of can be found on the NHS website.

 

Eat well

During the Winter months we tend to spend more time indoors doing less of the things we enjoy, it can be hard to keep up the motivation to prepare meals and look after ourselves.

If you have recently lost weight or have a smaller appetite than usual you can find out why this might be and what you can do to help.

 

Remember – The cold puts more pressure on our hearts and circulatory systems

The cold can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, as well as hypothermia. If you suspect yourself, or another, is experience any of these, call 999 immediately, or 112 from a mobile