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Be good neighbours to elderly people this winter, urges homecare company

With colder conditions on the way this winter, Gloucestershire homecare provider DoCare is urging people to keep an eye out for their elderly neighbours.

Although 2017 is likely to be among the warmest three years on record, temperatures could still plummet during the winter months – not good news for elderly people, often living alone. Wet and windy conditions can be equally treacherous for people venturing outside. 

“We’d ask everybody to be a good neighbour this winter and check on any elderly people, especially if they live alone,” said Una Mills, Director for Stroud-based DoCare, which provides support for people living at home throughout Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. 

“If the weather is wet and windy, then older people will be putting themselves at risk if they venture out, so it’s all the more important for friends and neighbours to pop in to see if they need any provisions, make them a hot drink, or just spend time chatting.” 

The DoCare team is also encouraging clients, most of whom are elderly, to be prepared for winter. Their advice is to:

  • Keep warm by wearing several thin layers of clothing
  • Keep living rooms at 21C and bedrooms at 18C
  • Get the heating system serviced and the chimneys swept
  • Take up invitations from the GP to have a flu injection
  • Use a hot water bottle, wheat bag or electric blanket to warm the bed
  • Eat at least one hot meal a day
  • Keep basic food items in, so the freezer and larder are stocked. 

Una added: “A few simple steps could make all the difference between staying warm and getting cold. If people would also pop in to check up on neighbours, then the winter shouldn’t seem as daunting as it often does to older people.”