Wealden District Council

Taking care in cold weather

News : 07 December 2017

It’s important to look after yourself during cold weather. And look after others – please check on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses to make sure they are safe, warm and well.

Cold winter day

As you get older, sitting or sleeping in a cold room is not just uncomfortable, it increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and breathing problems. It can also lead to more trips and falls.

Here’s some tips about looking after yourself and other people:
• Keep your bedroom windows closed on a winter’s night; breathing cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
• Food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks.
• Aim to include five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Tinned and frozen vegetables count towards your five a day.
• Stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy.
• Exercise is good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter.
• Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer; this will trap the heat better to keep you warm.  Socks and hats are great at keeping you warm in bed.
• Wear good-fitting slippers with a good grip indoors and shoes with a good grip outside to prevent slips, trips and falls.
• Make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out.
• Cover yourself with a blanket or shawl if you are sitting for long periods, this will help keep you warm. Put your feet up if you can; the air may be colder near the floor.
• Keep moving if you can, this will help keep you warm. Try not to sit for more than an hour – get up and walk around. If walking is a problem try moving your arms and legs whilst sitting or wiggling your fingers and toes.
• There’s a website where you can sign up for priority reconnections in a power cut. Find out if you meet the criteria and sign up. Visit: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/extra-help-energy-services/priority-services-register-people-need for more information

Our Home Energy Conservation pages have tips on how to keep your home warm at day and night. http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Wealden/Housing/Private_Housing/Home_Energy_Conservation/Housing_Keep_Warm_And_Well_In_Winter.aspx

For the latest on cold weather and its effects on health visit Public Health England’s website. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england
The Stay Well This Winter website   https://www.nhs.uk/staywell#BJ1S58voppDd555H.97 has lots of general advice about staying healthy during the winter months.