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Author: Age NI
Published on 25 November 2010 09:30 AM

There’s no doubt that the cold winter weather can be a worry for those in later life. But with a little preparation, and by following some simple suggestions, it’s possible to stay healthy, safe and as comfortable as possible this winter.

Here’s a list of things you can do to help ward off the winter chills:

  • Have your heating system serviced and chimney swept.
  • Make sure you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills
  • If you have wood-burning, coal or gas heaters – make sure you have adequate ventilation
  • Check your water stopcock is working properly
  • Have your electric blanket serviced – this should be done at least every three years
  • Make sure your smoke alarm is working
  • Be sure you have some warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles
  • Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather
  • Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house.  Your pharmacist can make suggestions and can also advise on how to manage minor illnesses
  • Follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab
  • Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast
  • Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping.

If you receive Pension Credit or certain other benefits, you are automatically paid an extra cold weather payment when the temperature is at freezing or below for seven days in a row.

To find out if you are receiving the benefits you are entitled to, call the Age NI Advice and Advocacy service on freephone 0808 808 7575 from 8.00am to 7.00pm.

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575