Why elderly people need to keep warm over winter

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Cold weather can have a substantial impact on our health, especially as we age. Ensuring that elderly people keep themselves warm during the winter can help to reduce the risk of general colds, flu and a variety of more serious health complications, including depression, strokes, heart attacks and pneumonia.

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Individuals over the age of 65, disabled, on a low income or with an existing long-term health issue are more vulnerable and are at a higher risk of developing an illness directly related to cold weather.

Research has revealed that there are approximately 25,000 more deaths each year throughout the winter months, with evidence suggesting that a number of these are as a direct result of cold temperatures and the increased prevalence of infectious illnesses, including flu.

Fuel poverty is also a contributing factor, which occurs when a household struggles to adequately heat its home. Every household should therefore investigate their eligibility for the winter fuel payment and other sources of financial aid to help with energy bills.

Trials held by clinical trial services, such as http://www.gandlscientific.com/clinical-trial-services/, have revealed a clear link between cold weather and an increased risk of many serious illnesses, including respiratory issues, strokes and heart attacks. It is therefore vital that elderly people keep warm during the winter.

Keeping yourself warm

Dressing in layers will help to retain warmth, and take care to keep both your face and hands warm by wearing gloves and a cosy scarf before going outside. Wrapping your scarf around your face will help to warm the air as you are breathing, which can help to reduce the risk of developing a chest infection. When inside, wrapping a blanket around yourself, holding a hot water bottle and keeping your feet up will help you to retain warmth.

Keeping your home warm

The room in which you spend most your time should be heated to approximately 21°C, with the rest of your home no colder than 18°C. If you feel cold, make sure you turn the heating up until you feel warm again. Keeping windows and doors closed and closing the curtains when it starts to get dark will help your home to retain its warmth, but be careful not to cover any air vents.

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Teresa Davis

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