Updated 22nd November 2019
As the weather gets colder, it's important to know how to keep warm in the winter months. Freezing weather conditions can be extremely dangerous for the young and vulnerable. Colder weather particularly increases the chances of elderly people catching the flu or having respiratory issues. The cold can also increase your blood pressure and thicken the blood which can cause a higher risk of a heart attack. Your heart must work much harder in order to pump blood around your body in order to keep you warm.
According to the Office for National Statistics, between the 2017 to 2018 winter period, there were approximately 50,100 excess winter deaths across England and Wales. This was the highest recorded since 1975. With this in mind, it's crucial to know the main ways you can keep warm and healthy this winter. Read on for a few tips.
Cold and Flu Vaccine
In order to reduce the chances of you catching the flu it is advised that you visit your doctor and get the Flu Jab. This vaccination is available every year and is free to those aged over 65.
The flu jab is the best way of limiting your chances of catching the flu and it is advised that you should try and get yours in the autumn, before winter hits. Plenty of tests have been done with the flu jab and although it doesn't offer 100% protection against flu, it does help limit the severity of the condition.
Your illness will be milder and much shorter if you have had your flu jab. Combine this with our other tips on how to keep warm, and you're set! The vaccine is also changed every year depending on which viruses are expected to trigger the most illnesses.
If you are under 65-years-old, then you can receive a free jab is you:
- Have certain medical conditions.
- Are overweight.
- Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility.
- Receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill.
- Are a front-line health and social care worker.
Alongside the protection from the flu, some tests have shown that the vaccine can also help reduce the risk of you having a stroke.
Keep your home heated
During the winter months it is very important for you to keep your home as warm as possible. The ideal temperatures for rooms in your house, to help you to stay safe, are as follows:
- Living room: 70F (21C)
- Bedroom: 65F (18C)
You should have your heating on as much as possible so that the radiators are hot throughout your home. In the living room, be sure to turn your fire on if you are feeling chilly. Make sure you don't leave any windows open either, especially during the night when temperatures drop to their lowest. If you're not aware, you could be eligible for winter fuel allowance too, which aims to support elderly people during the colder months by the government providing cash to go towards gas and electricity.
Speaking of night time, now might be the best time of the year to use a hot water bottle or, if you have one, an electric blanket when you go to bed. Remember to ensure these are switched off when not in use! Hot soup and drinks are a great idea for meals throughout the day too. You should also try to make the effort to move around and keep active during the day.
One more easy tip to follow is to simply keep all your doors closed when you are not using them. This is a quick and easy way of insulating each room and preventing drafts.
The key to staying safe at home during these weather conditions is to ensure that you are well informed. If you follow the news and weather, you will know what to expect and this will enable you to prepare for whatever is coming.
How to keep warm
Try and avoid going outside unless you absolutely have to, but if it is necessary then please wrap up warm. Add plenty of layers to your outfit and wear all of the usual winter essentials such as scarves, hats and gloves. If you don't already have these, then why not plan a fun trip out with the family to pick some out?
The more layers you are wearing, the warmer your body will remain when you are out and about. For example, rather than just wearing a coat, why not add an extra jumper?
As the old saying goes: It's better to be too warm than too cold!
Family are really important during the winter months. Your family are there to help you, so you should always ask for it if you feel like you may need assistance.
Rather than having to go out in the cold to get your shopping, you could always ask your children or grandchildren to pop to the shops for you. Or if your home isn't quite as warm as it should be, why not spend a few days at their house instead?
If you are unsure of how to use your heating systems or the radiators, then ask your family to come round. Alternatively, arrange for a plumber to visit and solve the problem if there is one.
Your family can make your life so much easier when we have freezing weather. You could always ask them for tips on how to keep warm as well!
Consider a Lifeline Alarm
It might be the case that you're not worried about how to keep warm, but about other winter issues. A great way to give you some reassurance, and to give your family peace of mind that you are safe, is to have a personal alarm installed at your home. Our system is easy to set-up and simple to use if you require assistance in your home.
The alarm comes with a base unit and a MyAmie Pendant which can be worn around your neck or your wrist depending on your preference. The pendant is small and stylish, which is an added bonus.
Press the big red button on your pendant if you have a fall. This will send an alert to our 24/7 Response Team who will speak to you over the base unit's loudspeaker system. After assessing the situation they will call your emergency contacts and the emergency services if they are needed.
Get in touch
If you're concerned for your safety this winter, you can contact us for an impartial chat. Our support team will be able to hear your situation and advise on the best product. We're here to help, so don't be shy! You can get in touch with by using the contact us page. Remember, no query is too small!