As we all get older, there are some changes to our bodies which mean that the chillier weather and the winter bugs have more of an impact on us than they used to. That means there’s plenty we need to do to keep ourselves fighting fit this winter. Let’s take a look.
We all know it’s important to be active, but sometimes it’s easier said than done! Ideally try not to sit still for more than an hour. Something as simple as getting up to pop the kettle, or popping outside to top up the bird feeder can help you maintain your strength and mobility.
If you are finding every day chores harder, you’re not the only one. Since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic lots of people are finding things we used to do less easy. The important thing though, is to do what you’re comfortable with and build yourself up slowly.
If you can, it is worth exploring options for simple home-based exercises and Age UK have some fantastic ideas available here. Even if you or your loved one feels frail, there are lots of ways to build up strength.
As the nights draw in and we spend more time indoors, maintaining the motivation to cook nutritious meals can be a challenge! If it’s possible though try and keep the routine going.
As part of this it’s a good idea to keep your cupboards and freezer well stocked. If you can’t get out to the shops because of bad weather or a cold, then it’s reassuring to know you’ve got everything to hand. Sometimes you might just fancy a lighter bite – even if that’s just a slice of cake – that’s much better than to have nothing at all.
If you feel like you’ve got a little bit less of an appetite or you’ve unexpected lost a couple of pounds, it’s worth trying to work out why this might be.
Get your jabs – even if you’re fit and healthy!
With everyone being indoors over the last few years, our natural immunity to normal winter, respiratory viruses are expected to be slightly reduced and you might have noticed that there seem to be an awful lot of colds going around at the moment! If you’re eligible for the flu jab or a booster jab it’s really important we give our bodies the best chance of fighting off illness!
Keep your home warm
Try and keep your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the day. Come late afternoon when the sun starts setting, closing the curtains can help keep the heat inside.
We know lots of people like to have the window open in the bedroom overnight for some fresh air, but while the weather is at it’s coldest it will make a huge difference to have it closed or on lock jar.
Keep your body warm
Wearing plenty of layers is a given throughout winter. If you’re heading out, it might be worth carrying an extra couple of layers in the boot, even if you don’t need them right away. Once the sun goes down or pops behind a cloud, the temperature can dive quickly.
A couple of tops tips though are:
Check in on relatives and neighbours
If you know you’ve got elderly neighbours or vulnerable relatives, it might just be worth giving them a quick knock every few weeks over winter or if we’re expecting some extreme weather, just to make sure they’ve got everything in hand. If you’re not comfortable knocking without a reason, then perhaps Christmas or New Year cards are a great excuse to say hi!
If you have a warning of some wintery weather on the way, it might be worth knowing which of your neighbours has a snow shovel and it could be beneficial to try gritting the access to your house! You never know when you will need to pop out, so have sturdy shoes with good sole grip at the ready and remember some of these tips!
The Met Office advice is that it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow rather than hard snow that has packed together from people walking on it. If possible, it’s best to get an early start and try and move the snow and ice in the morning. If you remove the top layer of snow in the morning, any sunshine during the day will help melt any ice beneath. You can then cover the path with salt before nightfall to stop it refreezing overnight. Any dishwasher or kitchen salt will work and one table spoon per metre squared is recommended.
These are the simplest ways to keep you and your loved ones well this winter, but if you or someone you know could benefit from some additional support, don’t forget that short term stays are available at our place and our team are available to answer any questions you may have here.
If you need other support this winter, here are some useful other numbers:
Age UK Advice Line (8AM – 7PM 365 days a year)
0800 678 1602
The Silver Line (24/7 365 day a year)
0800 4 70 80 90