We all feel the cold during the winter, some more than others. However, just being very cold can also make you feel unwell. Seniors can lose body heat much faster than younger adults so, here at Lifton Home Elevators, we have comprised five wise ways to help keep warm this winter.
Heat your home sensibly
To save on heating bills, close off rooms you are not using and make sure you set your heating to a suitable temperature. Check that vents are closed, keep the door to your basement closed and use draft excluders to ensure that cold air coming in under this or from other external doors do not make the house cold. Making sure you are not losing heat through windows and keep the blinds and curtains closed is also a good idea. If you have gaps around the windows, try to get these properly sealed. If you have any difficulty with the expense of heating bills, be sure to look into services that might help. Contact an energy assistance service or referral service or email the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project to get information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Wear the right clothes
Dress warmly on cold days even if you are staying in the house. Wear socks and slippers. If you are sitting, use a blanket over your legs. When you go to sleep, wear thermal underwear under your pajamas, and use plenty of covers. As we lose heat through our heads and feet, try to keep these areas warm too. Research has shown that wearing socks on your feet can really help the quality of your sleep as well as simply helping avoid heat loss, so there may be an extra health benefit to a good pair of bedsocks!
Eat well and try to stay active
Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you do not eat well, you might have very little body fat under your skin and it is this body fat that helps us to stay warm. When the weather allows, try to find ways of keeping active. Perhaps you could take a good long walk at the mall if the weather is cold outside or find a class that appeals to you at a nearby community center.
Take care when venturing outdoors
Dress well for the weather if you are going to be outside. Wear loose layers, trapping air between layers of clothes works best to keep us warm. The layer closest to your body should allow any moisture to be wicked away, avoid cotton as this can get damp and will tend to stay that way. The outside layers should be wind and water resistant. Also, remember a hat and scarf so as not to lose heat from around your head and neck. If your clothes get damp from being outdoors, seek to change them as soon as you can.
Plan ahead for extreme cold weather
If very cold weather causes a power outage, try to stay with a relative or friend. Arrange for people to check on you in the coldest months in case you need any extra help and make sure other seniors you know are doing the same and check in on each other if you are fit to.
If you have any health conditions, make sure that you have plenty of medicines you might need over the winter and are nott close to running out. Certain health problems such as thyroid conditions or diabetes can make you more likely to struggle with the cold, so as well as taking the above steps to stay warm, remember to take your medications and use a blanket even if you feel you are not particularly cold. If of course you are lucky enough to have family in southern states that would welcome a visit, you could plan this instead and try to miss the worst of the winter.
Be wise, wrap up and it will be spring before you know it!