Forecasters are predicting that Ireland is set for its coldest winter in years and Home Instead Senior Care is advising that preparations be made to help seniors deal with the big freeze.
With sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall set to grip Ireland over the next few months, Danette Connolly, Director of Care with Home Instead Waterford, says that there are some useful tips and practices that can be put in place to ensure our senior relatives, friends and neighbours stay warm, safe and cared for this winter.
“We are an ageing population with over 10% of people aged over 65 and at risk of poverty. We have a duty of care to our ageing parents, grandparents and neighbours and by looking after their interests this winter, we can help alleviate the hardship that comes with a particularly severe winter.”
“By regularly visiting the home of a senior person, one should be able to identify the areas that can be improved. For example, make sure the house is well stocked with the essentials, such as batteries for the smoke alarm, medicines, particularly repeat prescriptions and plenty of tinned fruit and veg and non-perishables such as pasta and rice.”
Ms. Connolly advised that encouraging our senior relatives to wear several thin layers of clothes, instead of one heavy layer and to keep all internal windows and door closed to keep heat in, will keep them warmer longer throughout the day
“It is crucial that seniors eat regular hot meals, as the body keeps warm by burning the food we eat. Porridge is an excellent source of nutrients, it’s quick and easy to prepare and fuels the body for hours.”
Other tips include:
- De – ice pathways of snow and ice using salt or sand
- Clear pathways of wet leaves, which pose a trip hazard
- Keep all emergency / contact numbers close at hand
- Block draughts and keep curtains closed at night to retain heat
- Ensure electrical devices are unplugged at night
Ms. Connolly continued “Many older people can feel vulnerable as the evenings are much darker, colder and longer. Please, when possible, visit your older relatives and neighbours. Sometimes, bringing a gift such as a bale of briquettes or doing a grocery shop for them can be much more practical and useful than bringing a box of chocolates.”
This winter, if you are concerned about the welfare of a senior family relative or neighbour, visit http://www.homeinstead.ie or call Home Instead Senior Care on 051 333966. Home Instead Senior Care can provide advice on the best solutions to looking after our seniors.
Home Instead also offers an array of senior care services such as light housekeeping and laundry, meal preparation, transport and companionship, up to and including personal care, dementia care, post hospital care and disability care.