With forecasts of a bitterly cold winter ahead and energy bills continuing to rise, Independent LivingServices (ILS), which provides care at home services in Aberdeenshire, is keen to spread the word about the importance of staying warm during the coldest months, especially among the elderly.
Liz MacDonald, Service Manager for ILS in Aberdeenshire, which provides care at home services to many local residents, says: “We want to ensure that the older people in our community, and people with medical conditions that are affected by temperature, are aware of the simple things they can do to stay warm this winter.
“We also hope that our tips might encourage people to pop in to see their elderly or housebound neighbours, just to check that they’re ok and to provide a bit of company during the winter days.
“We already support many people in Aberdeenshire, including individuals who live in rural areas where they may not otherwise see anyone for days at a time. So it’s important to get the message across about staying warm this winter.”
ILS suggests a number of actions that people can take to keep themselves warn during the coldest months of the year, without burning a hole in their pocket:
Make sure your home is at the right temperature, which is somewhere between 18°C and 21°C, so you can keep warm and keep your bills as low as possible. Turn the heating down in the rooms that are not in regular use.
Shut the doors to any rooms that you don’t use. This will provide another barrier between you and the cold weather outside and will reduce heat loss.
Wear several thin layers rather than just one thick one, as the layers trap warm air close to the body, and this will also make it easier to control your temperature.
Close your curtains as soon as it becomes dark to stop the heat escaping and any draughts coming in.
If you’re entitled to a free flu jab (which includes those aged 65 or over), make sure you get it.
Ask your energy provider if they have special rates for the elderly and check to see if you qualify for any benefits to help pay for extra heating in winter.
A shawl or blanket will provide extra warmth if you’re sitting down, and you should also try to keep your feet up because air is colder at ground level.
Avoid placing large pieces of furniture in front of your radiators. This means that hot air can circulate more freely.
Wrap up warm in bed, and when it’s really cold, wear thermal underwear and socks, and think about investing in a duvet with a higher tog rating.
Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.
ILS provides services on contract to local authorities across Scotland and supports older people at home and disabled people of all ages.
It helps folk to remain within their own homes, and will assist with basic domestic support, personal care and meal provision, through to highly specialist care for those with complex physical or medical needs.
Services are also provided on a private basis to those who are not eligible for local authority provision.