To protect physical health, mental health and wellbeing, it is vital for older people to keep warm, active and socially engaged this winter, especially when spending more time at home alone.
Taking care of yourself during the winter
- To save on heating bills, close off rooms you're not using and keep the blinds/windows closed to keep in the heat.
- Dress warmly on cold days, even if you're staying inside. Wearing socks and slippers can make a big difference!
- Ask friends, family or neighbours to check on you during cold weather. If you're on your own, ask your neighbour for their phone number in case you need their assistance.
- Put on a hat or scarf if going outside during cold weather. Always wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it's wet or snowy.
- Keep your mobile phone fully charged and close to you at all times.
- If lighting candles, don't forget to blow them out before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Smaller, more frequent meals will keep you feeling satisfied and help your body maintain enough body fat to stay warm.
- If using a portable heater, ensure it's safe and isn't being covered by anything that could cause a fire or risk of burning.
- Destress with gentle exercise or meditation - it'll do wonders for your mental health.
- Have a hearty breakfast. Porridge or overnight oats are a healthy way to give yourself energy and be eaten with a variety of toppings. For more breakfast inspiration, click here.
Winter Fuel Allowance
If you were born on or before 5 October 1955, you could get between £100-£300 to help pay for your heating bill during the winter. This is known as the 'Winter Fuel Allowance'.
For more information, or for details on how to apply if you think you're eligible, click the link below.
Looking out for an older person in Camden
As a community of local residents, social groups, and independent businesses, we can all help take care of each other. Here are our top tips for supporting older neighbours this winter.
- Spread the word about local shops offering delivery services or an over-the-phone ordering system.
- Offer to run errands such as picking up pints of milk, or offering to do their weekly shop whilst you complete yours.
- Offer assistance with household chores such as changing lightbulbs, helping out with personal devices or mowing the lawn.
- If you haven't seen your neighbour for a couple of days, give them a call or a knock on the door to ensure they're comfortable and warm.
- Encourage them to seek medical advice if they seem unwell or not their usual selves.
- Donate or lend crafts and puzzles. Many older people may be spending their time alone, so things like jigsaw puzzles and activity books can help pass the time.