Keeping warm can help prevent cold, flu and other serious health conditions. Wrap up warm and look out for your older friends and relatives to make sure they are safe and well.
Certain groups are more at risk from the cold than others. Cold weather can be more likely to cause you serious health problems if you are:
- over 65
- battling a long-term health condition, such as heart, lung or kidney disease
- on a low income and struggling to afford heating
If possible, people in the above three high risk categories should heat their homes to 18c or warmer, as well as being sure to dress in warm, comfortable clothing.
An electric blanket or a hot water bottle can be an affordable way to keep warm in bed.
If you are struggling to afford your heating bills you may be entitled to:
- Winter Fuel Allowance
(available to anyone born on or before July 5 1952)
- Cold Weather Payment
(available to some recipients of various benefits including Pension Credit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, or Universal Credit, if your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days)
You can visit the Energy Saving Trust website or ring them on 0300 123 1234 for more tips on reducing your heating bills.
For more information on any of the above, visit www.nhs.uk or please speak to your GP practice or pharmacist.