Our free calendar “Hot Tips” aims to ensure everyone in Scotland knows about the organisations and services available to them, and how to make the most of later life.
January’s theme is “Looking After You” and offers tips on keeping active, healthy and happy. Age Scotland Allied Health Professionals Yolanda Strachan and Jenny Ackland expand on these themes in their guest blog.
A new year can give us a bit of encouragement to break the habits of the old one. So 2015 could be the perfect time to look at what you can do to improve your health and well-being.
Research is increasingly showing that too much sitting is having a significant negative impact on health. It is linked to an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Inactivity can also impact on our mental health; lowering our mood and increasing the risk of depression.
Keeping active, keeping warm
Sitting too much is also a risk factor in contributing to falls. New research shows that older women sitting in a cold room (at a temperature of 15 degrees C) for 45 minutes can have a remarkable loss in muscle power. This means it is more difficult to get out of a chair and will reduce walking speed.
It is so important to keep warm and moving about, especially at this time of year, as it will help to warm up your muscles. Sue Lavery, an Occupational Therapist, has shared some useful hints that may help you keep warm in the cold weather.
- Warm clothes – wear lots of layers that are easy to put on. If you need any help getting dressed, you can consider purchasing dressing aids, which are available here.
- Warm feet – your feet are particularly difficult to warm up, so keep moving about and don’t let them get cold. Try wearing socks with high wool content and well-fitting shoes. Only wear slippers for short periods.
- Warm room – if you can, programme your heating to come on before you get up in the morning. A remote control timer may help. Contact your energy supplier for information, or visit the Age Scotland website for more information.
- Warm drinks and meals – establish a routine of making hot drinks, soup, porridge etc. The activity of making these will help keep you warm too. Visit our Spread the Warmth page for hints and tips.
Telecare also has an increasing role to play in helping people to keep warm. A mobile phone controlled power sensor socket with temperature sensor contains a temperature probe to monitor room temperature. This also alerts carers by text message if for example a heater socket is switched off inadvertently. Click here for more information.
Download your 2015 Hot Tips Calendar here and get information and advice throughout the year. Here’s what you’ve thought about Hot Tips so far:
- “Invaluable, great help – used daily, all year”
- “I do not think you could do any better. This is wonderful”
- “Brilliant information that I will pass onto family and friends”