As Autumn turns to Winter, Home Instead Waterford is advising that preparations be made to help your older neighbours and relations avoid the potential dangers it presents.

With temperatures dropping and further rain guaranteed over the next few months, Steven Tubbritt, General Manager of Home Instead Waterford, says that there are some useful tips and practices that can be put in place to ensure our older relatives, friends and neighbours stay warm, safe and cared for this winter.
“We are an ageing population with 15% of people aged over 65 and all facing increased energy bills and the consequences of the cost-of-living crisis.  We have a duty of care to our ageing parents, grandparents and neighbours and by looking after their interests over the coming months, we can help alleviate the hardship that comes if it’s a particularly severe winter.
“By regularly visiting the home of an elderly person, one should be able to identify the areas that can be improved. For example, make sure the house is well stocked with the essentials, such as batteries for the smoke alarm, medicines and in particularly repeat prescriptions.”
Steven advises that encouraging our older relatives to wear several thin layers of clothes, instead of one heavy layer and to keep all internal windows and door closed to keep heat in, will keep them warmer longer throughout the day. “It is crucial that they eat regular hot meals, as the body keeps warm by burning the food we eat.  Porridge is an excellent source of nutrients, it’s quick and easy to prepare and fuels the body for hours.”
Other tips include:

  • Clear pathways of wet leaves, which pose a trip hazard
  • Keep all emergency / contact numbers close at hand
  • Block draughts and keep curtains closed at night to retain heat
  • Ensure electrical devices are unplugged at night
  • De – ice pathways of snow and ice using salt or sand
Steven continued “Many older people can feel vulnerable as the evenings get darker, colder and longer.  Please, when possible, visit your older relatives and neighbours.  Sometimes, bringing a gift such as a bale of briquettes or doing a grocery shop for them can be much more practical and useful than a box of chocolates.
“Not to mention encouraging them to keep the heating and lights on when necessary and not to rely on impractical or dangerous devices such as candles and electric heaters.”

Home Instead also offers an array of care services such as light housekeeping and laundry, meal preparation, transport and companionship, up to and including personal care, dementia care, post hospital care and disability care.
This winter, if you are concerned about the welfare of an elderly family relative or neighbour, visit or call Home Instead Waterford on 051 333966.  Home Instead Waterford can provide advice on the best solutions to looking after older people in our community.