Each winter, one older person dies every 7 minutes from the cold. Find out how the cold can affect health, what you can do to spot an older person at risk of the cold and how to support them to keep warm and well this winter.
Identifying those at risk
Healthcare professionals and other practitioners can support older people by learning to spot those who might be at risk both in terms of their health and fuel poverty.
- If you are visiting an older person at home, does their house feel cold or damp?
- Is the older person wearing multiple layers of clothing?
- Is the older person struggling to pay their energy bills?
- Does the older person have prescriptions for lung or heart conditions?
- Have they been admitted to hospital for a fall?
If you have identified an older person at risk, encourage them to:
- Keep their bedroom temperature to at least 64°F (18°C) and their living room at 70°F (21°C).
- Keep their bedroom window closed at night and wrap up well when leaving the house.
- Contact Age UK to find out what services exist and find out what financial and practical support is available to them through the winter.
NICE provide detailed recommendations for those working in the health and housing sectors.
Help us to get the word out to older people. Download and display posters at your office or clinic or distribute our winter warmer recipe booklet.
- 70°F (21°C) is the ideal temperature for your living room
- 64°F (18°C) is the ideal temperature for your bedroom
- Keep your bedroom window shut at night
Download our winter health posters:
Ideal bedroom temperature (PDF 88 KB)
Ideal living room temperature (PDF 87 KB)
Shut the bedroom window (PDF 138 KB)
Download our recipes for a warmer winter:
Recipes for a warmer winter (PDF 491 KB)
Local Age UKs offer a range of services and support to help older people throughout the winter. Contact your local Age UK to find out what services are available in your area 0800 169 65 65.