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Stay Warm

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE CONSIDERATE

 

Bedford Borough Council is reminding people that during winter older people are more susceptible to slips, trips and falls.  Keeping warm both inside and outside the home is one of the many ways to help reduce the risk of falling.

 

Cllr Colleen Atkins, Executive Member for Adults Services at Bedford Borough Council, said: “With the icy weather approaching, we need to be mindful that the cold can be life-threatening, especially for older people. As a caring community, we need to keep an eye on elderly friends, relatives and neighbours to check they are okay and not exposed to unhealthy temperatures. Cold weather prevents people getting out and about and when muscles are cold they become stiff and slow, increasing the risk of falls.”

 

It’s important to make sure that heating is set correctly, and that clothing is appropriate. The living room should be at the recommended temperature of 70°F/21°C and the rest of the house should be heated to at least 64°F /18°C.  Home insulation helps to keep heat in the right places and ensures money goes as far as possible.

 

Wearing several warm, light layers of clothing is more effective than wearing one thick layer. Thermal underwear, bed socks and even wearing a hat to bed to prevent heat loss through the head, are also recommended.  Wearing warm, well-fitting slippers and keeping feet up whilst sitting down will help avoid the cooler air at ground level. When outside, wear warm boots/shoes with non-slip soles.

 

Food is a vital source of energy so it’s important to have hot meals and drink regularly.  Plan meals ahead, stock up on tinned and frozen meals to avoid having to go shopping in the very cold weather.

 

And finally, stay in touch with friends and family and stay ‘flu free’ as a bout of winter flu can be dangerous.  You can ask your G.P for a free flu jab if you’re aged over 65 or have an underlying health condition, if you are pregnant or if you are a carer for someone with a long-term illness or disability. Children who are 2 and 3 years old can also have the vaccine free of charge.

 

For more falls prevention information go to http://www.ageuk.org.uk/ ; for more information on keeping warm in winter visit http://www.bedford.gov.uk/ and search ‘Keeping Warm in Winter’; and for information relating to insulation schemes go to http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/ or telephone 0300 123 1234.

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