Advice for elderly to keep safe and warm in winter

After enjoying an unusually mild festive season, the temperatures have now dropped dramatically. We’ve already had some snowfall across Wales with more forecast and the roads and pavements have become slippery with ice, which is why we’ve put together a few helpful tips for the elderly to help keep them safe and warm this winter.

When temperatures drop below eight degrees, people over the age of 65 or those with long-term health conditions are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, flu, pneumonia, trips and falls and hypothermia.

It’s important to be prepared if you can. Keep a regular check on radio and TV bulletins for weather forecasts. Severe weather warnings are also issued via the Met Office website.

If you don’t have great mobility, are aged 65 or over or have a heart or lung condition, you should heat your home to at least 18 degrees. Try and keep bedrooms heated at this temperature all night too.

You can get help with heating costs, grants including the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment are available.

You should try to stay as active as possible. Try not to sit still for more than one hour at a time. Get up and stretch your legs, even if you just walk around the house. If you fancy a walk outside and your mobility will allow it, make sure you wear sensible shoes with good grip and wrap up warm with a hat, gloves and scarf. If it’s icy outside, do not attempt walking.

If you stay indoors you should also make sure you wrap up warm with several layers of clothing, rather than just one chunky layer. Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed. But remember to switch off your blanket before going to sleep.

You should eat at least one hot meal per day and ensure you have plenty of hot drinks too.

If you have an elderly relative or neighbour, it’s important to check on them more often at this time of year. Check their house is warm, heating is working well, and they have everything they need within easy access. You should check they have stocks of food and medicines should they need it.