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Tips for Staying Socially Connected This Winter

Staying socially connected helps our mental and emotional health. Unfortunately, one in five older Australians report feeling loneliness. Winter, with its colder weather and higher rates of colds and flus, make staying connected even harder as we retreat to our homes. At Home Care Assistance, our Care Professionals see how much the people the care for benefit from social connection. We have put together this blog to help you and your loved ones stay connected this winter.

  • Arrange to meet up when the weather is good – While there are days in winter where it is better to stay indoors, some days will be warmer or more pleasant than others. Weather forecasts can give an idea as to what the weather will be like for the week. looking at the forecast for the week ahead can enable you to arrange to catch-up with friends on days when the weather is good. Remember to be flexible, if the weather turns bad on the day you had planned to catch up, change to another day when the weather is better. It might also be best to catch-up in the middle of the day when it tends to be warmest. Getting out in nice weather also helps you get some sunshine which is good for your health.
  • Dress for the weather – Make sure you rug up appropriately for the weather. This means ensuring you have enough warm clothes on and layers for the days when it might get warmer later. You do not want to be cold, but you also do not want to overheat. Having the right footwear is also important. You not only want to keep your feet warm, but also dry if the weather is wet. Raincoats and umbrellas can also help you stay dry and warm if you are catching up with someone on a day when it happens to be wet outside.
  • Pick your Location – If you are going out to meet up with friends, pick a location that will keep you warm and dry. This includes having parking or transport nearby, so you do not have to walk too far in the cold. Something like a coffee shop with good heating and plenty of indoor seating can be perfect.
  • Protect yourself and others against the Flu – Having your flu shot helps to protect you and others from getting sick. The same is true if you are due for a COVID booster. While vaccinations serve an important role in reducing illness in the community and keeping you and your loved ones healthy, there are other measures you can take as well. The strategies we learnt during the covid pandemic continue to be important in protecting us against not only COVID but also colds and cases of flu. This includes washing your hands, social distancing, and staying home when you are sick. If everyone does these things, then it helps protect us all.
  • Use Technology – Sometimes, the weather is bad, there are lots of colds and cases of flu around, or maybe you have been unwell and going out is just not a good idea. At these times, technology can be a great way to stay in touch. Phone calls can be a great and simple option to stay in touch. but video chats, and group video chats, can be even better for staying connected. There is something about seeing the person that you are talking to that helps with that connectedness. You could even do something like a book club meet-up, or coffee and cake afternoon, with your friends on a video session using something like Zoom.

While these tactics can help stay socially connected this winter, sometimes a person needs a little more than this to offer. This can be when arranging regular home care can be useful. Not only do Care Professionals help older people with daily taks, but they also provide social connection and company. Support of a home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with a Home Care Assistance near you today.

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