Written by Tori Gray for The Beach Hut, Your Independent Community Magazine for Paignton
In the past, I’ve written about the loneliness and isolation that can be felt by the elderly living alone or share ideas about maintaining good health during the winter months. However this month, I’m going to be more specific.
I agreed to wait at a friend’s house recently for the boiler repair company to arrive. Unfortunately, they had no back-up source of heat so I spent two hours chilling to the bone and after arriving back at my toasty, warm flat, it took more than three hours to warm back up again.
It got me thinking about what an elderly or vulnerable person living alone might do in a similar situation. I decided to think about things we can do to mitigate the risk of cold for ourselves, our relatives or elderly neighbours and have come up with these top 5 tips:
1) It can be beneficial to get boiler cover so any boiler issues can be fixed in a timely fashion. If you know a cold snap is on the way, see if it’s possible to get a boiler service in advance of the winter months or predicted cold snaps.
2) Always have a back-up source of heat if in case your boiler goes such as a plug-in oil radiator. Do some research and beware of fire hazards and Carbon Monoxide poisoning. If you do not already have one, get a Carbon Monoxide detector fitted.
3) If you or someone you know operate on a coin or card-operated metre, make sure it is well loaded with enough funds to see you through any periods of adverse weather.
4) Make sure your home is well-insulated. I picked the boiler repair man’s brain whilst he was in and he said this is the number one way to improve warmth in homes and is often overlooked. Have a look at government schemes to see if you qualify for free insulation. If you don’t, get a number of quotes – NEVER buy from doorstep tradesmen.
5) There’s also a scheme called the ECO Scheme (Energy Company Obligation) and involves larger energy providers being obligated to improve energy efficiency within eligible homes, irrespective of where you buy your energy from. For more information and to see if you qualify, please visit www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk. Even those who don’t qualify can receive invaluable advice so don’t delay – call today!
I wish you all a happy, healthy winter season and a reminder to keep warm!
Written by Tori Gray, Operations Manager of Gray Areas Care Homes
Kingmount Residential Home is a friendly, welcoming dementia specialist care home in Paignton offering residential and respite care for older people. Feel free to call in anytime for a look around and find out how we could support you. To arrange a personal guided tour please call us on 01803 500719. The kettle's always on and we'd love to meet you.