Staying Warm & Well This Winter
With winter well and truly here, it’s important to keep your heating to at least 18 degrees and stay topped up on hot foods and drinks.
If you are heading outside, don’t forget to grab the gloves, hat and scarf – bundling up is better! Especially if you have conditions such as Asthma which can be worsened by cold weather. Ensure your shoes have good grip and haven’t worn down – if it’s icy outside, ice grips for boots can ensure stability if you’re heading out and about. Wearing multiple layers, instead of one thick one is the best way to keep warm and stay insulated, plus if you do get too warm in your layers, it is easier to cool down by removing one!
The weather can greatly affect older people who can be more susceptible to the cold which can cause a massive spike in other health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, worsening arthritis and can also increase accidents at home such as falls. Older people are more affected by the cold because it is more difficult to maintain their body temperature, as past the age of 55, you lose 1% of muscle mass every year which is where the ability to maintain your body heat comes from. Layering up with blankets, cosies, heaters and thermals around the home can be an easy way to keep your home and yourself protected from the cold, even if you need to keep your energy bills low.
Older people, especially anyone who lives alone, are at risk of skipping meals and staying in bed, heating only one room in the house or not turning their heating on at all. This can lead to anxiety, depression and loneliness. If you have a loved one or a neighbour that lives on their own, that you know may be at risk this winter, popping round to make sure they are okay is important for their health, both mentally and physically. Taking them some hot food and staying for a cup of tea, or providing them some extra blankets for their bed and making sure they have a heating source can make all the difference. You can also ring The Silverline for free 24 hour confidential help and support.
For more information on helping those at risk, or if you need financial help with your energy bills, you can visit Age UKs guide.