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In recent weeks we have been experiencing bitter weather conditions with the NHS issuing cold weather alerts. With the cold weather continuing for the foreseeable future lets remind ourselves of some simple, sensible ways to look after our health.
Not only does the cold weather pose a health risk but the fear of falling on icy streets can keep people in their homes and therefore increases the risk of isolation and loneliness.
We urge older people's carers, their friends and family members to take the time to look in on loved ones and elderly neighbours to make sure they are safe and warm in their own homes. Here are a few tips to deal with these cold weather conditions:
* Wear several thin layers of clothes, instead of one thick layer.
* Keep a throw or fleecy blanket handy to cover your feet or shoulders.
* Wear fleece slippers around the house to keep your feet warm.
* If you can’t heat every room, make sure you keep your living room warm.
* Heat your bedroom before going to bed.
* Close curtains to keep draughts out and keep doors closed between each room.
* Eat at least one hot meal a day. Soup is warming, nutritious and inexpensive to make.
It is important to be prepared in case of an emergency. Make arrangements for assistance in case of a power cuts. Keep important numbers in an emergency kit, along with non-perishable foods, water and medications.
If you are cold at night try sleeping in socks, go to bed with a hot water bottle and keep a flask with a hot drink beside the bed.
If you are heading outside wrap up warm, with special attention to your head, fingers and mouth.
Be sure to keep in contact with friends and family, whether it’s a phone call or popping round.
* Take a couple of minutes each day to stretch your limbs to loosen muscles.
* Stay inside – ask a friend to shovel and salt your driveway and path.
* Wear shoes or boots with a non-skid sole.
* Have handrails installed on outside walls for frequently used walkways.
* Check the rubber tip on your cane or walker to make sure they are not worn smooth.