Charity urges older people to keep warm during winter months

Older people’s charity WRVS is urging older folk in Scotland to keep warm and well as the winter approaches by following simple steps to be happy and healthy.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show that there are around 25,700 more deaths across the UK in winter months than at any other time of the year, and the majority of these deaths occur in people over the age of 75. However, many of these can be prevented.

WRVS is encouraging people to get themselves and older people they know ready for winter and stay safe, stay well, stay warm and stay in touch.

Their top tips include: stay safe by keeping an eye on weather forecasts and not taking any risks by venturing out in snowy or icy weather; stay well by getting your annual flu jab, eating little and often and getting up and moving around, if possible; stay warm by drinking plenty of warm drinks and dressing in layers to keep warm and stay in touch by keeping in contact with family and friends, who can make sure you have everything you need to stay happy and healthy.

WRVS volunteers provide support to help older people live independently in their own homes.

Paying regular visits to older people in their community, either to deliver meals, to have a chat, or accompany them on outings, WRVS volunteers make sure older people have the help they need to get through the winter months.

Margaret Paterson, WRVS head of operations in Scotland, said: “Winter can be a very worrying time for older people, but by getting prepared for the cold weather it doesn’t have to be as stressful.

“We have outlined simple steps older people can take to make sure the cold weather doesn’t affect their quality of life. We are also encouraging anyone who has an elderly neighbour or relative to check on them regularly to make sure they have everything to need to stay happy and healthy.”

WRVS, in partnership with the Scottish government, is distributing 6,700 leaflets across Scotland with advice on staying warm and well this winter.

If you are concerned about getting ready for winter and the effect of cold weather, you can contact WRVS for advice by calling 0845 600 5885.