Home Care Company calls for people to grit steps and front paths for local elderly and disabled people
As temperatures have dropped in recent weeks, most of us have begun making preparations for winter.
Home care provider Right at Home supports clients by making sure they can continue to enjoy their independence and stay safe both in and out of the house.
They are also asking anyone with neighbours who are elderly or living with disabilities to spare a thought for their safety too as the big freeze approaches.
Ken Deary, Master Licence Holder of Right at Home UK, said: “Winter weather can bring enormous challenges if, for example, you rely on a wheelchair or a three-wheeled walker to get around outside.
“The fear of falling becomes much bigger and without some assistance, an icy path or a pile of snow can leave someone a prisoner in their own home for as long as the cold snap lasts, which as we all know can be several weeks.
“For those who also cannot afford to spend much on heating, being able to go out for a hot meal or to socialise somewhere warm becomes even more important than usual in winter. But getting from the front door to a waiting taxi can often prove too difficult and that must be so frustrating.
“It is easy to suddenly become quite isolated, which is dangerous unless you are getting proper support to stay warm, properly fed and visited for company.
“Supermarkets now sell packs of salt for doorsteps and pathways for just a couple of pounds – if you are picking one up for your own family, why not stop and think if there’s anyone else nearby who would really be much safer if they had one too?
“It’s not a lot of work to spread it for them, and it can make such a difference by keeping people safe and reducing the fear of falling for someone who may otherwise have become very isolated this winter.”
- Hypothermia. Exposure to cold can result in a dangerous drop in body temperature. Common health conditions and some medications raise the risk for older people. How to help: Visit vulnerable neighbours in extreme cold weather to make sure they are keeping warm enough. Make sure boilers have been serviced and there is adequate heating.
- Increased risk of falls. Slipping on icy steps or a snowy pathway can result in serious injury. How to help: Clear snow and lay salt or grit to prevent ice. Offer physical assistance.
- Carbon monoxide illness or fire. Indoor heaters can carry a significant risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning if not installed and used properly, or left in contact with other material. How to help: Make sure heaters are correctly installed, placed and operated, and are never covered or too close to other objects. Test smoke alarms and use a carbon monoxide detector.
- Seasonal depression. During cold weather there is an increased risk that staying warm indoors can lead to inactivity and social isolation, as there are fewer opportunities to exercise and spend time with other people. How to help: Visit vulnerable neighbours, spend time with them and help them to find support to go out safely, either home care or local charities.
Right at Home now has more than 400 locations on five continents filling a clear gap in the market for quality home care services that are highly personalised and based upon the client’s choices. We operate across almost 30 offices the UK, carefully matching clients with a consistent, highly trained CareGiver and supporting them in all areas of their life, wherever they are needed. For more information visit www.rightathomeuk.com.