Practical advice to see you safely and cosily through the coldest part of the year
We’ve all been stuck indoors for a lot more of the year than any of us would have hoped. This winter, as well as the flu and the usual winter bugs we are also living with coronavirus. This makes it even more important that we look after ourselves as best we can. That means keeping warm and staying healthy.
As we get older, our immune systems have more of a battle on their hands when it comes to fighting viruses. Add in colder weather that affects circulation and less moving about than usual, and existing health conditions like arthritis become much more troublesome.
But don’t worry – there’s a lot that you can do to keep yourself warm, cosy and healthy this winter and every winter to come. Here are our top tips at We Care:
Keep your home warm throughout the winter
This might seem like an obvious one, but did you know that the ideal temperature of the room that you spend the most time in should be 21°C? Even more ideally, the other rooms in your home should be at least 18°C to keep you nice and toasty wherever you are.
It’s important to know how to operate your heating system, including the thermostat and timer controls. Having the heating on at a consistent temperature throughout the day is the key thing, followed by keeping doors and windows closed to keep the heat in and the cold out. Many people heat their homes overnight or during the early hours of the morning too, as it’s usually coldest just before dawn.
Of course, all this heating costs money. It’s a wise idea to have a Direct Debit in place with your energy supplier in order to spread the cost of your energy usage throughout the year. No nasty surprise bills! You may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount from your energy supplier too so make enquiries about how to apply for it. There’s also the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment – visit Age UK’s website to find out more about them.
Keep yourself warm in the winter
Again, it seems an obvious thing to say. But did you know that several thin layers of clothing are better than just having one thick layer of clothing? Vests, thermal underwear, tights and leggings, long-johns, as well as the usual hats, gloves and scarves if you’re out and about.
Being prepared is key, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. You’ll want to wear your warmest shoes or boots, ideally with non-slip soles in case it is icy or – shock, horror – snowy. You’ll also want a scarf or snood to cover your neck and face against chill winds (as well as your face mask when you’re in the shops). Check the weather forecast ahead of time so you can plan and prepare accordingly.
Around the home, keep blankets in places you spend a lot of time like the lounge sofa or your desk. Keep them off the ground so that they don’t cause a trip hazard. Many people like hot water bottles and electric blankets, though for safety don’t use both at the same time. Make sure that your electric blanket is safe for overnight use. Otherwise, good old fashioned thermals and underwear can help to keep you warm and toasty in bed this winter just as well.
Keep active – keep healthy
Even the smallest amount of activity can help keep your circulation going strong and prevent muscle loss. Try to make a point of keeping active. The experts say not to spend more than an hour at a time just sitting, no matter how good that TV boxset is! Age UK has a fantastic webpage on keeping fit at home right here.
It’s equally as important to eat right during the winter. I’m sure that the chocolates will be coming out around Christmas, but make sure to have at least one hot meal a day, with lots of veggies. It’s good to have a routine, like the classic three round meals a day. If you feel hungry, make sure to have something and not ignore the signs that your body is giving you.
Finally, keep a good stock of medication on hand. Beyond the usual painkillers and such, have some cold and flu remedies in the medicine cabinet. We’d also recommend getting the free flu jab if you’re over 65. Even if you’re fit and healthy, it’s doubly important this year with the coronavirus situation. The free jab has even been extended beyond over 65s and their carers to people who were shielding in the first lockdown and some others. Head to the NHS website’s Flu vaccine page or speak to your GP for more information.
And don’t forget to wash your hands regularly!
So there we have it. Our simple but effective advice for keeping warm and healthy this winter. From all of us at We Care Home Improvements, stay safe and Merry Christmas!
If we can help in any way, don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below. Our showroom is closed for the foreseeable future but our handypeople and technical crew are on the road, still caring and repairing all through the holiday season.