The last few mornings in my part of rural Leicestershire have started with scraping ice off the car windows. The central heating thermostat is back on a higher setting (don’t tell my husband) and I have followed the winter checklist for my car as recommended by my garage.
So, I thought I would give some of my Top Tips for supporting your elderly relatives and friends during the winter months.
Top Tip 1 Keeping Warm in Winter
As we age, our bodies don’t necessarily provide feedback to our brains as well as they did when we were younger. This can include not being aware if we are becoming cold. Older people are also often very worried about large fuel bills. This can be exacerbated in people suffering from dementia.
If you know someone in this situation, it might be worth checking that the heating is working, having a chat with them about appropriate clothing and ensuring they are still able to make themselves hot drinks and food.
Thermostats with alarms are available either for the room or that can be connected to your mobile phone via an app. You can set the temperature and if the room drops below that the alarm is triggered. The main living area should be between 18C & 20C.
Grants and payments are available for people on certain benefits e.g. Pension Credit (2 out of 5 elderly people eligible for this are not claiming. That’s nearly 1.5 million!).
It may also be worth checking on their energy supplier and tariff. Older people are less likely to change supplier and are often on the highest rates for fuel.
If you would like more advise or information, then please do not hesitate to contact me.