Older people advised to take greater care during the summer season

Ireland’s irregular climate is well-documented and this summer 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 take greater care of themselves over the coming months. Anne Gallagher, client care manager for Comfort Keepers in Galway, has offered the following tips.

• 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.

• As a nation we are fair skinned traditionally, and it is important to protect our skin from the elements. Sunscreen is vital to protect us 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.

• Vitamin D deficiency is very common in Ireland, which is often due to a lack of regular sunshine. Studies on Irish adults aged 50 and over 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 diet, older people should ensure that they take a daily vitamin D supplement and have moderate exposure to the sun when it does shine, 15 to 20 minutes each day if possible. Foods rich in vitamin D include oily fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel; eggs; cheese, butter, and milk; tinned sardines; mushrooms; and liver.

• Get active. 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 65s should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. In particular, they should focus on aerobic activity such as walking, muscle strengthening, and balance

Comfort Keepers is a leading provider of top quality home care in Ireland. A family owned and Irish run organisation, Comfort Keepers employs 600 qualified carers all of whom are fully trained, background checked, and managed by Comfort Keepers. The organisation operates 12 offices throughout the country and differentiates itself from its competitors by its person-centred ethos, providing not just a service, but an

all-encompassing companionship to clients, treating them as if they were a member of their own family.

For more information visit www.comfort keepers.ie

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