Wednesday 21 September 2022

Best Ways The Elderly Can Prepare For The Winter

With winter just around the corner, now is the best time to prepare for long nights and short days. Planning your winter on time can save you a lot, especially if/when you are in your golden years. Find out more about mobility scooters here.

Here are a few tips for making the winter months more comfortable.

Make Sure the House is Warm

The first step in preparing for the winter is to ensure the central heater is in the best working condition. There’s no better way to prepare than to have the boiler serviced a month or so before the cold season. Call the experts to check the boilers, radiators, fins, and even the thermostat to ensure they are working properly. Most HVAC experts have lots of time on their hands before winter; take advantage of this. 

Although you know this already, it is advisable to set/keep bedroom temperatures to 18°C, living room at 21°C, and other rooms at around 16°C. You, however, do not want to keep the boiler running all through the night but rather set it to come on a few hours before waking up or retiring to bed to save energy. Consider switching to a smart or programmable thermostat for improved efficiency. 

Adequate insulation will also help keep the house warm and maintain the set temperatures for longer. You may thus need to check the windows and doors for draughts and have the same weatherproofed. Draft proofing your home helps keep the house comfortable without putting unnecessary strain on your HVAC system. 

Use heavy curtains to help retain indoor temperatures. Curtains create an envelope that allows the house to remain warm despite extreme temperatures outside. Be sure to turn off heating in unused rooms to save energy. Heavy blankets can also save the day and reduce dependency on the heating system. Covering up in a blanket, especially in the evening, would thus be a wise idea. 

Help Keep Heating Costs Down

Most households record the highest heating costs during winter, and for a good reason, their heaters are ON all the time. The UK government has taken the initiative to help with heating costs for individuals born before 6th May 1953. Those eligible enjoy a tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 in the winter months (November and December). Anyone with a Pension Credit also gets payments automatically when temperatures hit O°C and below.

Other Ways to Prepare For Winter 

The cold temperature makes pipes prone to bursting. Cut the water supply immediately should this happen. Familiarize yourself with the shutoff valve to be able to access it at a moment’s notice. 

Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors need to be in proper working condition too. Check and replace any spent batteries. 

It would also be advisable to keep a list of essential local services that might be needed during the season. These include a contact for electricians, plumbers, heating engineers, GP surgery, and utility companies. Ensure the list is within easy reach. 

How To Keep Warm in The House

Encourage your parents to exercise regularly, or every day, to stay fit and keep warm. Regular exercise helps boost various processes improving one’s flexibility and core temperature. 

Have a thermos full of hot/warm drinks to enjoy throughout the day. This will save them unnecessary trips to the kitchen. 

Keep a hot water bottle close by. 

Make a point of getting a flu jab once every year. This is particularly important for individuals over 65 years. The jab will help improve immunity to meningitis, pneumonia, septicemia, and flu, among other conditions. 

Order repeat medications ahead of time. Vital OTCs, such as painkillers, are a must-have during this season. 

Prepare and stock up the refrigerator and freezer. 

Looking After Pets

As with anything else, your pets can be affected by the cold winter months. You thus need to look for a way to keep them warm and comfortable through the season. Start by ensuring there’s enough food to push them through the 3 months comfortably. While you can always stock up in between, you never know how bad the weather will be. You also don’t want to be stuck on the road because of excess snow or dangerously icy roads. Have your pets vaccinated if necessary to boost their immunity as well.

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