Ireland’s irregular climate is well-documented and summer 2012 is proving to be predictably unpredictable. Recent outbreaks of heavy colds and flu around the country are a symptom of changeable weather patterns and medical experts are advising older people in particular to take care of themselves throughout the season. Comfort Keepers, Ireland’s leading home care organisation, is calling on older people to focus on their health over the coming months. Helen Butler, Client Care Manager for Comfort Keepers in Cork gave Family her top tips:
Invest in quality footwear
"Heavy showers and flash flooding can increase the risk of falls, which is one of the leading causes of death in the over 75s due to complications caused by fractures. Good footwear is essential and people are advised to tread carefully as pathways can be slippery
"However rarely the sun does shine, it’s important to be prepared when it does. As a nation we are fair skinned traditionally, and it’s important to protect our skin from the elements. Sunscreen is vital to protect you from burning and older people in particular are very susceptible to sunstroke so take shelter regularly in the shade and wear a hat or protective clothing to avoid too much sun exposure
Take a Vitamin D supplement
"Vitamin D deficiency is very common in Ireland, which is often due to a lack of regular sunshine. Studies on Irish adults aged 50+ have revealed that there is a major deficiency of Vitamin D in the country. As we age, it becomes more difficult to obtain and produce Vitamin D in the body in comparison with a younger person. In addition to modifying your diet, ensure that you take a daily Vitamin D supplement and have moderate exposure to the sun when it does shine, 15-20 minutes each day if possible. Foods rich in Vitamin D include oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, eggs, cheese, butter and milk, tinned sardines, mushrooms and liver.
"Summer is the best time to enjoy the wonderful fresh air and scenery that Ireland has to offer. Daily moderate exercise is essential to our health and experts recommend that over 65’s should engage in at least 30minutes of moderate exercise every day. In particular, they should focus on aerobic activity like walking, muscle strengthening and balance”