The Christmas period tends to be a busy time for people but it’s important not to forget your elderly loved ones in the rush. Here are three simple checklists of ways you can help care for family members who are perhaps fragile or lonely during this festive month. These include easy health boosting tips and key ways to stay warm, given that the elderly tend to feel the cold much more.
Helpful ways you can support them:
1. Regularly pop in, even for a brief chat and a cup of tea. It really breaks up the day, especially for those who live alone.
2. Stock up on basic supplies for them, ensuring they have enough provisions for the main Christmas break is important. Even more so if they struggle to get about easily in winter weather conditions.
3. Monitor the heating on their behalf, set any timers to meet their needs – a warm home is vital.
4. If you’re concerned for your loved one but cannot be there all the time, give them a personal alarm. Unfortunately falls are common, particularly in the winter, they can wear it on their person and in an emergency it can be easily activated.
5. Try to spread out family visits over the winter period, if different members could visit on differing days it gives your loved one something to look forward to.
6. Online access can help loneliness no end in terms of online video chat, so make sure they are both connected and know how to use it.
Easy health boosting tips
During the winter make sure to boost fibre and starch intake, porridge is ideal as oats contain vitamins and minerals. Try to replace any added sugar with honey or fruit. Soups are also a good way to introduce more vegetables you wouldn’t otherwise think to include.
Sleeping and rising at the same time each day really helps against feeling sluggish.
Drinking milk and consuming dairy products provide your body with the protein, calcium, B12 and vitamin A it needs.
Any exercise boosts the immune system as well as controls weight. Rather than just staying in on the cold days wrap up and go for a long walk. Any exercise will recharge your body with fresh blood and energy.
The lack of natural sunlight can make people feel more tired, another reason to get outside!
A checklist of simple ways to keep warm
- An electric blanket or hot water bottle
- Consuming at least one hot meal a day
- Stretch and move every hour or so
- Any form of physical exercise will keep you warm
- Wear several layers, cotton, fleece fibres and wool are the best
- Get your free flu jab
- Try to always have a scarf protecting your neck and chest area when outside
If you are looking for care, Care Sourcer offers a free searchable directory of local care agencies. If you need care urgently, we also have a team of care experts who are available by telephone to help guide you through the process.