October 1st marks UK Older People’s Day, a day held in recognition of the UN International Day of Older Persons. Older People’s Day aims to provide a platform to celebrate the achievements and contributions of older people to society, as well as helping to contest and overturn outdated attitudes and stereotypes.
An important thing to remember in the autumn and winter months is the well being and comfort of any elderly friends, relatives or neighbours that you may have. They are affected by the cold more than most, so by checking up on them periodically, you can help ensure that they are as comfortable as possible.
Older people will benefit from a constant level of warmth, so make sure you call round every so often to check their thermostats are at the appropriate level. Things like blankets can be very helpful in increasing their comfort, so checking to see if they are in easy reach can make a lot of difference.
If they are worried about rising heating costs, all eligible pensioners can receive a Winter Fuel allowance directly into their pension to help towards their energy costs.
In addition, turn down radiators in rooms they do not go in as often. This means less heat is wasted and their money should go further.
Christmas means that homes across the country are a bigger target for burglars, with thieves eyeing up any presents that are lying around in the house. This can be worrying for all of us, so it is doubly disconcerting for elderly people.
Ensure that all locks and security systems are adequate, this will help give them peace of mind as well as improving the security of their home.
Having doors locked at all times sounds overprotective, but those hard of hearing or troubled with sight are even more vulnerable against theft and burglary. If not a constantly locked door, a chain / bar installed on all external doors is advised, and community groups in the local area often have links with suppliers lessening the costs for these types of hardware.
As well as the practical benefits like the ones listed above, simply providing your elderly neighbours or relatives with your companionship will be much greatly appreciated, especially if they do not receive many visits from their own friends or family.
Popping round for a cup of tea and a chat means you will be be providing a welcome element of socialisation to their day.
If an elderly person is staying active, this can help them beat the cold and stay warm when they need to.
Invite them out for a walk, taking the dog, or meet them at the shops or for a cup of tea – make sure they are wrapped up warm, and you can help bring a bit of variety and energy into their day.
If you know of an elderly person for whom mobility is particularly difficult, offering to help with their food shopping or any other trips they would usually make can be a great favour to them. Whether that’s visiting the shops yourself, or arranging an online delivery.
The notion of a stranger delivering to their home may create anxiety, so offering to be there at the time of the delivery could lessen this issue.
Here at VHL, we are proud to offer a comprehensive range of services for senior citizens, visiting them at home to carry out repairs, maintenance work or handiwork around the house. From repairing central heating to clearing gutters, our team will provide a caring and efficient service for elderly people at any time. For more information, get in touch with us today.