The winter months can be difficult for a lot of us, especially those working in care. Regardless of the weather conditions, customers still require care and it is the responsibility of care assistants to ensure they get the support they need, when they need it. Carrying out a busy day of calls can be extremely challenging in the colder months, but there are some helpful precautions you can take to make sure you are well prepared.
As the majority of customer calls are carried out using a vehicle, it is important to ensure you are carrying all the necessary equipment and paperwork with you in case of an emergency. It is also worth checking that your vehicle has recently been serviced and that the oil and water is topped up to keep your car in good health. Be sure to check that your roadside assistance is up to date, and keep the number stored in your phone or written down in a safe place in case of emergencies. When leaving for a call, dealing with an icy car can be time consuming if you are not prepared with the correct equipment. It can also be hazardous if not done correctly, as remaining ice can block your view and vision. Be sure to carry some form of de-icer with you to help clear your windscreen quickly and effectively. If you are carrying out customer calls in rural areas, it is also handy to keep a spade or shovel and some salt in your car in case you become stuck in a tricky situation.
Aside from keeping your car running smoothly, it is important to keep yourself running smoothly too! There are a number of small things you can do each day to make battling the elements a lot less stressful, and to ultimately reduce the risk of an accident. Keeping warm during the day is important to keeping well. Wear multiple layers such as a thermal vest and a fleece, as well as hats, gloves and scarfs to keep the cold at bay. During the cold weather ice and frost can build up on the ground, including on pavements, paths and customer’s driveways so be sure to wear sensible shoes with a proper grip to help avoid slips and falls. Bring a thermos flask of tea or coffee with you to help keep hydrated and to warm your body up.
Finally, colds and flu are prevalent during the colder months so it is worth taking extra measures when working with vulnerable people such as the elderly. Carry antibacterial hand gel on your visits and use it regularly. Using hand gel regularly will help to protect yourself and vulnerable customers. You can also visit your local GP and make sure your flu jab is up to date to help protect yourself and ultimately others around you from becoming unwell.
We hope these tips are helpful and that you remain safe and well during the winter.