As we age, our bodies become less able to regulate internal body temperature and a decrease in our senses can make it hard to sense fluctuations in temperature. Older adults can lose body heat faster than they did when they were younger leaving them at risk for hypothermia. It’s important to stay warm to stay healthy, so here are our tips for staying warm this winter.
1. Make sure your home is warm.
Your home’s main living area needs to be at least 21 degrees celsius, with the rest of the home heated to at least 18 degrees celsius. Close all curtains and windows in the home at night. Make sure your bed is warmly made with extra blankets within easy reach in case you wake up feeling cold.
2. Enjoy a healthy, nutritious diet and have regular hot drinks.
Eating a balanced, healthy diet will ensure you receive plenty of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fat to help you recover from minor illnesses quickly. Have regular hot drinks of tea, coffee or hot chocolate to stay warm.
3. Make sure you keep in regular contact with friends, relatives and neighbours.
Keeping in contact with loved ones will help people to check to see how you are doing and if you are warm and healthy. It will also help with any feelings of social isolation or loneliness.
4. Have regular medical checks and get your COVID & flu jabs when eligible/available.
5. Seek assistance from government agencies if you need help with heating, food and clothing if needed.
Each state or territory has schemes to provide assistance with energy bills and there are often concession holder discounts available. You can check which rebates are available to you on the rebates and assistance page on the energy.gov.au website.
Some useful links:
Carer’s Circle article on Top 5 tips to reduce the risk of falls in the home –
Carer’s Circle article on Teaching ageing parents to use a smartphone – you can teach an old mum new clicks! – https://carerscircle.com.au/2020/01/09/teaching-parents-to-use-a-smartphone/
Lauren’s article on Carers’ Circle – Creating a COVID-safe environment at home when receiving care –
Energy rebate – https://www.energy.gov.au/rebate-type/rebate?page=1