Keeping warm

Keeping warm and well this winter

Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm.

What’s the problem?

Cold weather can lead to serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. This is of concern if you're vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because you're over 60, on a low income (so can't afford heating) have a long-term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or are disabled.

The government's Keep Warm Keep Well campaign aims to reduce cold-related illness and deaths. It has useful advice for you and your family on how to stay warm and well over the winter. Key tips include:

Keep warm at home:

  • make sure your home is well insulated – there are a number of grants and other sources of help available for central heating and insulation. Installing loft and cavity wall insulation could reduce your fuel bill by up to £265 per year - see ‘How to get further help’ below
  • set your thermostat at around 21ºC (70ºF) and heat all the rooms you use in the day
  • if you can’t heat all your rooms make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed
  • set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed
  • an electric blanket or a hot water bottle will help you keep warm at night, but never use them together as you could electrocute yourself
  • if you have an electric blanket, get it tested by The Fire Brigade, Trading Standards or  Age Concern to make sure it’s safe to use.

Dress well:

  • wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one
  • put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside
  • wear clothes made of wool, cotton, or fleecy synthetic fibres.

Other top tips:

  • look out for elderly friends and neighbours. Check they're safe and well through the winter
  • close curtains at night
  • keep active. Move around at least once an hour and don't sit down for long periods of time. Even light exercise will help keep you warm
  • if you are worried about paying your fuel bill, do get in touch with your fuel supplier and talk to them
  • eat well – food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day
  • make sure  you are claiming all of the benefits you are entitled to
  • get a flu jab - you can get a free jab to protect against seasonal flu from your GP if you are over 65 or if you have a long-term health condition.

How to get further help:

NHS Nottingham City CCG helps to support the Greater Nottingham Healthy Housing Service. They can refer you to all the above sources of help and give you more top tips to keep warm and well this winter.

Tel: 0844 4991920

Find out more about about the Government’s ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’:

And this site gives top tips for affordable healthy meals: