Heart FailurePatients survival kit in Winter
We have decided to re-post this post from last year as we recieved some good feedback from Heart Failure Nurses on how informative it was for Heart Failure Patients and Carers and how well it had been received. We have tinkered with it a little so we think this version is good to go for the whole of the winter period.
We will keep posting this throught the Winter Period and we will try and make this available in PDF format soon on our main site www.pumpingmarvellous.org
As you maybe aware cold weather is not good news for Heart Failure patients. We thought you may find this “tool kit” useful as it is important to look after yourself during the cold weather and winter months. Firstly before we give you advice you have to realise you are more vulnerable than others. Understand and accept it. When you have done this then carry on.
Pumping Marvellous Winter Heart Failure Tool Box
- Make sure you have had your regular seasonal flu jab at the Doctors, you should have also received a pneumonia jab as well.
- Hat, scarf and gloves – always carry these as they prevent you loosing heat at your extremities but also if you are on beta blockers you are more susceptible to cold fingers and toes.
- I know this may sound far fetched but make sure you have a fully charged mobile / cell phone with you when you go out, if you don’t have a mobile / cell phone then tell your carer where you are going and what time you expect to be back, if you don’t have a carer tell your neighbour.
- If bad weather is expected and you have to make a car journey, make sure you take your tablets with you and a bottle of water to swill them down with.
- If you are susceptible to the cold air and get breathless – wrap a scarf around your face, it’s very fashionable with the Inuit
- Make sure if you are going out on that car journey you take a coat, hat and gloves, however short.
- Have a letter in the car with your up to date prescription and diagnosis just in case.
- The last thing you want to happen is get stuck in the snow in your car however there are a number items that may help you out, these include Snow Socks for your car tyres, body warming packsand snow shovels.
- If there is bad weather predicted make sure you have a stock of medicines so that if you can’t get to the Doctors or Pharmacy then you have sufficient stock.
- Make sure your car is prepared for the winter months reducing the risk of breaking down. Visit the RAC to find out more.
- I know this is a tough one to explain but if you are worrying about the cost of heating your house due to the ever rising fuel bills then go somewhere where you can keep warm like the pub/bar or the supermarket for a cup of coffee or a cafe and have a cup of tea. I know it’s not easy but it does make sense. If this is not possible, don’t heat the whole house/flat just heat the rooms you need.
- Wrap up warm in your house – fashion doesn’t make sense in the house nobody can see you so wear thick jumpers, a double layer of socks and thermal underwear. A lot of the discount clothing retailers are touting for your business at the moment and there are some really good deals on Winter clothing at the moment. Stores include Asda George, Primark, Matalan, Tesco Clothing, Sainsburys Clothing, TK Maxx and Peacocks, the list goes on…
- Make sure you have some of the basics in your kitchen cupboard. Pumping Marvellous top 10 essentials
- Long Life Milk
- Part Baked Bread Rolls
- Low Salt Baked Beans
- Low Salt tinned soup
- Tinned fruit in juice not syrup
- Frozen Vegetables in the freezer if you have a freezer or tinned vegetables in water
- 10 litres of drinking water if your pipes freeze
- Packets of Rice and Pasta with a good selection of spices
- Tinned Tomatoes
Make sure you explain to your carer how the cold effects you so they can pick up on the warning signs.
The motto is if the weather is too bad then it can wait.
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