Winter can be difficult for most of us and in particular those who are older and more vulnerable to the cold. Care Assistants can also find it difficult throughout the winter months from being able to reach those you’re caring for through to catching the common cold. There are many ways in which you can prepare yourself this winter.
Regardless of any weather conditions service users still require care and it is the responsibility of the care assistants to ensure that they receive the support when they need it. As the majority of service user’s calls are carried out using a vehicle, it is so important to ensure that you have everything necessary with you in case of an emergency, including any paperwork or equipment. It is also important to ensure that your vehicle is regularly checked and that it has been recently serviced. Keeping your vehicle topped up with oil and water can help you remain safe throughout the winter.
Other important points to note are to ensure that your roadside assistance is up to date and don’t forget to keep the number stored in a safe place in your phone or written in case of an emergency. De-icing is something you may find yourself doing frequently this winter – this can be time consuming and hazardous if you don’t arm yourself with the right equipment, any remaining ice can block your view and vision, be sure you have de-icer to hand to help clear your windscreen quickly and efficiently. If your service user calls are in a rural area, it is also handy to keep a spade or shovel and salt in your vehicle in case your become stuck in a tricky situation.
Not only do you need to take care of your vehicle this winter, but you need to also keep yourself running smoothly. There a few things you can do each day to decrease the stress of battling the elements less stressful and ultimately reduce the risk of accident.
Keep yourself warm during the day by wearing multiple layers – thermals as well as hats, gloves and scarfs can help to keep the cold at bay. Wearing sensible shoes with a proper grip to decrease your rick of injury as the cold weather builds, ice and frost builds up on the ground making it extremely slippery. Stay hydrated by taking a thermos flask of tea or coffee with you which will also help to keep you warm.
And lastly, colds and flus are prevalent during the winter months, so be sure to take some extra measures when working with vulnerable people such as the elderly. Use antibacterial hand gel regularly on your visits, helping to protect yourself and the service users. You can also visit your GP and make sure your flu jab is up to date to help protect yourself and others around you from becoming unwell.
Most importantly, remain safe and well throughout the winter.