Cold weather can affect your health. Find out how to keep yourself well and your home warm during winter.
According to NHS Choices very cold weather can affect anyone, but those most vulnerable are those:
aged 65 or older
on a low income (so they can’t afford heating)
who have a long-term health condition, such as heart, lung or kidney disease
who are disabled
who are pregnant
with young children (newborn to school age)
with a mental health condition
So keep an eye out for vulnerable neighbours or relatives. You could check they’re safe and well; are warm enough, especially at night and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather.
NHS Choices recommends that if you’re worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1174 (8am-7pm every day).
Any concerns that the person may be suffering from hypothermia, then you are advised to contact NHS 111.
If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist.
Follow these tips on keeping well in the cold:
- find out if you can get the flu jab for free on the NHS
- wear several layers of clothes rather than one chunky layer – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat
- use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but don’t use both at the same time
- have at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm; and make sure you have hot drinks regularly
- try not to sit still for more than an hour or so indoors – get up and stretch your legs
- stay active – even moderate exercise can help keep you warm
- wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth when outdoors – add a hat and wear shoes with a good grip, too. If you have a heart or respiratory problem, stay indoors during very cold weather
- keep your home warm by drawing curtains at dusk, keeping doors closed to block out draughts and