How To Keep warm and Keep Well This Winter

How To Keep warm and Keep Well This Winter

On average, there are around 25,000 excess winter deaths in England each year. There is strong evidence that some of these deaths are related to cold temperatures as well as infectious diseases such as flu.

Flu is a highly infectious disease that can spread rapidly and the best way to protect  your self is to get a flu vaccination. You may be entitled to a free injection if you are at risk of complications  doctor_presenting_clipboard_custom_15224from flu. People who are entitled to free flu jabs are over 64, aged 2-4, children in school years 1 and 2, are pregnant or have a serious medical condition such as heart, lung neurological liver or kidney disease or diabetes.

There are ways you can reduce the risk of catching and spreading flu:

  • Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and encourage visitors to do the same
  • Throw away used tissue as soon as possible
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and use a hand sanitiser gel when you are out and about
  • Stock up on over the counter cough and cold remedies

Fuel Poverty

In 2012-2013 there were 35 million households in England in fuel poverty. This is when a household is living below the poverty line and has higher than average fuel bills. You are most vulnerable to a cold related illnes if you are over 65, on a low income, have a long term health condition and/or are disabled.
To help reduce your bills the Energy Savings Trust (EST) has advice on how to make your home more energy efficient. They can also advise on grants and schemes available around the UK. You can find out more by going online from the EST website or by calling 0300 123 1234 (9am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm Saturday).

Keeping your home warm

If you have reduced mobility, are over 65 or have health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heath your home to at least 18c. Its a good idea to keep your bedroom at this temperature all night if you can but during the day make your living room slightly warmer. You may be able to claim financial and practica


l help with heating your home. The government provides a winter fuel payment of between £100 and £300 tax free to help you pay your heating bills if you were born before July 5th 1953.
There is also a cold weather payment if you recieve certain benefits. This is paid when your local temperature is recorded or forecast to be an average of 0c ot below over 7 consecutive days. The payment is £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between novemer 1st and March 31st.

Other ways to keep warm

Food is vital source of energy which helps to keep your body warm so you should try to make sure you have hot meals and drinks throughout the day and keep active if you can. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.
Wear warm clothes inside and out. Put on lots of thin layers made from cotton, wool and fleecy fibres to maintain body heat. Wear shoes with a good grip to prevent slips and falls when you are walking outside. If possible stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems. Stock up on tinne and frozen foods so you have food available to eat at these times. Remember tinned and frozen fruit and veg count towards your 5 a day!