Lend a Helping Hand This Winter
This Week the government launched their get winter ready programme. We recently highlighted what we thought was important for our seniors and at Twilight Community group we believe we can never have enough information when it comes to our safety. So, we have decided, as the temperature dropped over the last few days, we would use this week’s column as little reminder of what we should be aware of.
Everyone, especially older or more vulnerable people, should remember to take extra care during a cold spell. Elderly people should not venture outdoors in severe weather if possible. The public are asked to make a special effort to keep in contact with their neighbours and relatives, particularly those living alone.
Keep warm, eat well, and avoid unnecessary travel and we must never forget to call on elderly relatives and neighbours and ensure they have sufficient supplies of food and of any prescription drugs they may need ensure that older people have sufficient fuel supplies to maintain adequate heating in their homes.
Advice on medication
As you get older you may need to change the dose of your medicines – check with your doctor. Some medicines or combinations of medicines may make you feel faint or light-headed which could lead to a fall. Consider wearing a personal alarm so that family or neighbours are alerted if you fall. Eat regular hot meals and drink plenty of fluids, this will keep you warm and will give you energy to keep active. If you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you visit your doctor for a check-up.
If you must use medical equipment or a powered mobility device every day, please make sure that you always have access to a power supply.Ensure that you are on the vulnerable customer registers for the energy companies and Irish Water. If you have an assistance dog, be sure to keep them warm as well. Be sure to always have a blanket for the animal to rest on. Keep the animal indoors as much as possible.
People with disabilities should plan for the possibility that winter weather may disrupt homecare services. In icy weather, wear well-fitted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to go out but try to limit walking outside during the cold weather. If you use a mobility device make sure it can grip an icy surface and If you have a ramp make sure it is well gritted in icy weather.
Stay in contact
If you have a mobile phone that you can use, make sure it has a charge and bring it with you when you are going out. You should consider wearing a personal alarm so that family or neighbours are alerted if you fall. If you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you can visit your doctor for a check-up.
In winter it can be difficult for everyone to get about and conduct day to day activities. It is even more difficult for older people and other vulnerable people. So please remember how important it is to look out for our seniors both relatives and friends, for one day you will that senior who will need a helping hand