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Devonians asked to help elderly get ready for autumn

Published: 12th September 2019 16:37

SOUTH Devon residents are being asked by a leading home care agency this month (September 2019) to help prepare elderly relatives and neighbours for the autumn and the inclement weather to come.

Guardian Homecare says as the cooler temperatures set in, so too does the heightened risk of seasonal-related illnesses, falls and even loneliness, as the elderly and vulnerable stay indoors, preferring not to venture out.

Manager for Guardian Homecare, which cares for people in the Exeter and Torbay areas, Catherine Porter, explains: “As the leaves start to fall, the evenings draw in and a throw is a welcome sofa friend, we’re all reminded that, sadly, autumn is upon us.

“While many of us don’t consider the change in season to have an effect on us, it can affect the elderly more than you realise, so it’s important to make sure they are prepared for the change and that their home can cope with the conditions.

“We’re encouraging the kindhearted and caring people of south Devon to keep their elderly relatives, friends and neighbours in mind and make sure they’re comfortable and warm this autumn.

“If your relative, friend or neighbour has a heating system, it needs to be serviced yearly by a qualified engineer to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently before the really cold weather arrives. You should also test any electrical heaters to make sure they work properly – but remember, they should not be left unattended at any time.

“It’s important to make sure they have blankets within easy reach of beds and chairs and that they have plenty of jumpers/cardigans in their wardrobe to wrap up in.”

Now is the season for flu-jabs and many elderly people will be invited along to their GP surgery to have theirs. Vulnerable people and those over the age of 65 are entitled to flu-jabs free of charge.

Catherine added: “It’s also a good idea to stock up on cold and sore throat remedies in the house.

Don’t forget any outside space around the house, including front and back gardens. The combination of falling leaves and wet weather can cause slippery surfaces so if you can, rake up leaves and clean pathways and steps. You could even add hand rails if needed.

“Autumn/winter often means that we stay indoors for longer and for your loved-one to have a whole day at home with no plans can be quite daunting, so be sure to encourage elderly friends and relatives to have some home hobbies to help keep their mind active.

“It’s also a good idea to try and up the amount of times you’re able to visit your loved-one during the week and at weekends. Perhaps ask other family members or close neighbours to pop in too.”

Guardian Homecare delivers personalised home care supporting people wishing to stay living safely and comfortably in their own homes in south Devon. 

For further advice on caring for an elderly individual, please call Guardian Homecare on 01803 853198 or drop in at its Drew Street branch in Brixham, during normal office hours for an informal chat. Alternatively, please visit www.guardianhomecare.org.uk.

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