With severe weather warnings being issued for most of Wales this week Age Cymru is urging pensioners to take a few precautions.
The charity’s health initiatives officer, Angharad Phillips says: “With snow and ice forecast for the middle of the week followed by extreme windy conditions towards the end of the week we’re advising pensioners to take some measures to make sure that they stay warm, safe and well.
“Much of the advice is common sense and we simply want to remind people to prepare for every eventuality as the weather changes so quickly from one hour to the next. Having a good stock of foods, and over the counter remedies can save you an unnecessary trip to the shops when the weather takes a sudden turn.
“If you do decide to venture out, be sure to dress for the weather. Wearing a hat, gloves and a scarf are simple measures that can protect your health. Wearing a scarf around your mouth warms the air that you breath and so protects your lungs and chest. Wearing several layers of loose clothing also keep you warmer, helping to trap warm air around your body.
“And if you do go outside in the windy conditions make sure you feel steady on your feet and wear securely fitting footwear with firm grips.”
The charity also has advice to help keep pensioners safe and warm indoors as low temperatures increase the risk of flu and other respiratory problems.
Angharad advises: “Throughout the day make sure you have plenty of warm drinks and eat at least one hot meal a day to help keep your energy levels up.
“If you tend to spend your time mostly in one room during the day, try to keep it at a stable temperature around 70 degrees/21 degrees centigrade, by keeping doors closed. But make sure you pre heat your bedroom so you don’t go from a warm room to a cold one. At dusk, when the temperature drops close the curtains to help keep the cold out.
“If you’re sitting, try to keep your feet up as the air is cooler at ground level.”
The charity is also urging communities throughout Wales to help older people during this wintry spell. Angharad says: “Extreme weather can trap many older people in their homes so why not pop round to see if there is anything you can do to make their lives a little more comfortable. Simple gestures like sharing a cuppa, bringing round some hot food or offering to do some shopping can make all the difference.”
For more information on keeping safe this winter visit our website www.agecymru.org.uk/spreadthewarmth or call our free advice line on 08000 223 444.
Notes to editors
1. Angharad Phillips is available for media interviews in both English and Welsh languages.
2. Age Cymru is the national charity for older people in Wales.
3. We are the force combining Age Concern Cymru and Help the Aged in Wales.
4. We work with local Age Cymru Partners across Wales to improve life for older people.
6. Age Cymru is a registered charity 1128436.
7. Company limited by guarantee and registered by in England and Wales 6837284.
8. Age Cymru is funded by donations from the public, corporate partners, our trading enterprises and the Welsh Government.