With the cold and wet weather well and truly here, we have some tips on how you can take care of yourself or and elderly neighbour.

  • Wrap up warm if you are going outside. Put on a hat, scarf and jacket
  • Make sure the house isn’t losing any heat from windows or doors
  • Eat hot meals and drink plenty of hot fluids
  • When you go to bed ensure you have extra blankets
  • Make sure your heating system is working and set your heat to at least 68 °F – 70 °F
  • Avoid unnecessary travel, the roads and paths can be slippy this time of year
  • Ensure you have credit and battery on your phone incase of an emergency

Illness, Medicines, and Cold Weather

Some illnesses may make it harder for your body to stay warm.

  • Thyroid problems can make it hard to maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Diabetes can keep blood from flowing normally to provide warmth.
  • Parkinson’s disease and arthritis can make it hard to put on more clothes, use a blanket, or get out of the cold.
  • Memory loss can cause a person to go outside without the right clothing.

Talk with your doctor about your health problems and how to prevent hypothermia.

What Are the Warning Signs of Hypothermia?

Sometimes it is hard to tell if a person has hypothermia. Look for clues. Is the house very cold? Is the person not dressed for cold weather? Is the person speaking slower than normal and having trouble keeping his or her balance?

Watch for the signs of hypothermia in yourself, too. You might become confused if your body temperature gets very low. Talk to your family and friends about the warning signs so they can look out for you.

Early signs of hypothermia:

  • Cold feet and hands
  • Puffy or swollen face
  • Pale skin
  • Shivering (in some cases the person with hypothermia does not shiver)
  • Slower than normal speech or slurring words
  • Acting sleepy
  • Being angry or confused

Later signs of hypothermia:

  • Moving slowly, trouble walking, or being clumsy
  • Stiff and jerky arm or leg movements
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Blacking out or losing consciousness

For more advice or if you would like support in the home this winter, call us on (01) 286 7509

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