Winter has already started so here are lots of tips to make sure you give yourself, family and neighbours the best chance to stay warm and healthy throughout the season.
Get your flu jab
If it’s free because you need it. You are more at risk if you have a long-term health condition, are older or are pregnant. It’s not too late to get one. Carers are also eligible.
Make sure you’ve up-to-date with your prescriptions that way if there’s a cold snap you don’t have to worry about your medication, especially with seasonal holidays next week. Check with your local pharmacy about free home deliveries so you don’t have to worry about getting out yourself if the weather is bad or icy.
Keep warm and keep well
As we get older, our body has to work harder to keep us warm.
From about the age of 55+, we lose around 1% of our muscle mass every year. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but our muscle keeps us warm.
Heating your home to at least 18° C (65° F) in winter is particularly important. Insulating your home not only helps to keep you warm and healthy, but it can also help to keep you warm and healthy, but it can also help to keep your heating costs down. Care and Repair may be able to help switch energy suppliers and reduce your bills or even repair or service your heating & more.
Keeping yourself warm at home in winter
• Keep your hands and face warm – if they get cold they can trigger a rise in blood pressure which puts you at increased risk of a heart attack
• Remember that several thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer, as the layers trap warm air
• Wear warm clothes in bed. When very cold, wear thermal underwear, bed socks and even a hat – a lot of heat is lost through your head
It’s important to stay active as this generates heat and helps to keep you warm. Try to keep moving when you’re indoors, and don’t sit still for more than an hour. If walking is difficult, you can do chair-based exercises. Even simply moving your arms and legs and wiggling your toes will get your circulation going.
So it’s also really important to wrap up warm when you go outside. One simple tip if you are asthmatic is to wrap a scarf around your face.
Eating well in winter
It’s important to make sure you, or someone you care for or visit, eats enough in winter and hot meals and drinks will help to keep you warm.
- Try to eat at least one hot meal each day and have hot drinks during the day
- Include a good range of foods in your diet and aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, so that you’re getting plenty of nutrients and vitamins.
- Remember that frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh.
- Have a hot drink before bed and keep one in a flask by your bedside
If you’re finding it difficult to cook for yourself Meals on Wheels provides tasty, nutritious meals delivered directly to your door. Meals can be delivered as often as you want – one day a week or every day 365 days a year.
Check on others
Older neighbours and relatives and those with heart and lung conditions, as well as very young children, are at particular risk from the cold. That’s why it’s so important for us all to make sure those at risk are safe and well, have stocks of food and medicine in so they don’t have to go out during really cold weather and encourage them to follow these tips. Also why not join the Looking out for neighbours campaign?
Here are some other useful links about winter readiness:
Hitting the road this winter? Driving tips for severe weather conditions
Winter kit; room in the boot? – what to keep in the car
And go here to keep an eye on the weather day to day.