Helping the elderly prepare for autumn

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Helping the elderly prepare for autumnAs the leaves change colour, we’re reminded that, sadly, summer has been and gone, and as the changing weather sets in, so too does the heightened risk of seasonal-related illnesses and falls.

If you have an elderly loved-one, it’s important to make sure they are prepared for the change in season and that their home can cope with the conditions.

If they have a heating system, it needs to be serviced yearly by a qualified engineer to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently before the really cold weather arrives. You should also test any electrical heaters to make sure they work properly – but remember, they should not be left unattended at any time.

Your loved-one may also be eligible for help with the cost of their heating bills, so it is worth looking into this now too.

It’s important to make sure they have blankets within easy reach of beds and chairs and that they have plenty of jumpers/cardigans in their wardrobe to wrap up in.

It’s also a good idea to stock up on cold and sore throat remedies in the house. Now is also the season for flu-jabs and your loved-one’s GP will invite them to go along to the surgery for one. They are eligible to receive this for free if they are aged 65 and over.

Don’t forget any outside space around the house, including front and back gardens. The combination of falling leaves and wet weather can cause slippery surfaces so if you can, rake up leaves and clean pathways and steps. You could even add hand rails if needed.

Autumn/winter often means that we stay indoors for longer and for your loved-one to have a whole day at home with no plans can be quite daunting so be sure to check out our ideas for some at home hobbies they can take up to help keep their mind active.

It’s also a good idea to try and up the amount of times you’re able to visit your loved-one during the week and at weekends. Perhaps ask other family members or close neighbours to pop in too.