Welfare MATTERS - December 2019
In this edition, we look at what it actually means to be granted powers of attorney as well as how you can stay healthy throughout the colder months. Not to mention an enlightening evening with Ruth Davis at renowned fine art auctioneers, Lyon & Turnbull!
Do as your granter would have done if you're the attorney
Last month, we marked National Power of Attorney Day, with campaigns and information on social media and TV encouraging us all to start a conversation and put powers of attorney in place.
It’s an important protection to have, and puts you firmly in control, knowing that you’ve appointed the people you trust and who know you best, whatever age or stage of life you’re at. The person granting the POA will have taken advice from their solicitor, made sure the POA suits their circumstances and they’re happy they have appointed the right people.
But what if you are the appointed attorney, what next...?
Baby, it's cold outside!
Now that the days are shortening and the weather is changing, it’s important to think about getting ready for winter, keeping warm and staying healthy. If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, it would be a good idea to chat to them about this and offer some practical help – offering to pop in or phone regularly to check that they have everything they need can be very reassuring.
Being exposed to a cold environment for a long time, or to extreme cold for only a short time, can raise your blood pressure which could put you at risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Sitting still for too long in a cold environment could put you in danger of hypothermia. Even when temperatures are not extreme but are cold for a prolonged period, elderly people can be more vulnerable to some illnesses.
Keeping warm at home as well as outside is important, particularly for people who are not very mobile. Regular movement helps you keep warm, even whilst seated, it is good for your general fitness and wellbeing, and maintains your circulation, blood pressure and heart rate at a healthy level. Sitting too close to the fire or a radiator, though, can cause chilblains so try not to warm up too quickly. Good nutrition, hot meals and drinks all help and a hot flask beside your chair or bed can be a good idea.
Wearing thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer – wool or fleecy synthetic fibres are better than cotton. When sitting, try to keep your feet up off the ground and have a shawl or blanket near by.
Other practical things you can do are:
• Make sure your heating system and boiler has been serviced to ensure it is running safely and efficiently, never block air vents and if you have wood-burning, coal or gas heaters make sure you have stocked up on fuel, lighters, matches, and that there is adequate ventilation.
• Have your electric blanket serviced
• Make sure your smoke alarm is working and install an audible carbon monoxide alarm
• Keep some salt and sand handy for icy paths and consider having a grab rail fitted if you have steps
• Follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab and order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time. Make sure you know when the doctor’s surgery will be open or closed over the festive period and keep a note of emergency numbers saved to your mobile phone, in your address book, or stuck up on the fridge
• Keep a stock of basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it is too cold to go out, for example tins of soup and ready made meals for the freezer
• Keep a battery operated radio and torch, with spare batteries, handy in case of power cuts, and make sure you keep the battery on your mobile phone charged
A bit of sparkle
The team had great fun at a diamond masterclass at fine art auctioneers, Lyon & Turnbull, in November. We were treated to drinks and canapes whilst Ruth Davis, the jewellery specialist taught them a little about what to look for when buying diamonds. She discussed 'the four Cs' being colour, cut, clarity and carat weight and how they affect the quality and value of a diamond. Everyone was given a jeweller's loupe (a small magnifying glass) and the opportunity to put their new found knowledge into practice as some beautiful rings and earrings were passed round. Ruth shared some top tips on how to get the best for your budget and we were even pleasantly surprised at some of their price tags!
It was very enlightening and gave us all a little more knowledge of what to look for, something we often need to take into account when looking after our clients.
We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and are grateful to L&T for the invitation!