Each winter one older person dies every seven minutes from the cold weather. With this in mind, everyone here at Age UK County Durham wants to ensure older people are fully prepared for the winter months ahead.
The cold poses some very real dangers for older people and winter can be a very difficult time, especially those who live alone or who are housebound.
As part of our annual Keep Warm Keep Well campaign we are helping older people to understand how much a health risk the cold weather is and what they can do about it.
We work in partnership across County Durham to help older people stay safe and well in winter and we have produced a Keep Warm Keep Well leaflet full of practical top tips to stay warm this winter.
Here are some of our favourite top tips:
· Have regular hot drinks and eat at least one hot meal a day if possible. Eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter.
· Keep your bedroom and main living room at 18° and 21°C (65° and 70°F) respectively. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom before you go to sleep. Keep a check on room temperatures with a thermometer or the thermostat for your heating.
· Wear several light layers of warm clothes (rather than one chunky layer) and even a hat indoors or in bed if it’s really cold as a lot of body heat is lost through your head.
· Keep active – chair based exercises – moving your arms and legs and wiggling your toes are helpful if walking is difficult.
· Life can be more enjoyable with some company so join a group or take part in an activity that interests you. If you can’t visit friends or family make sure you ring them regularly for a chat.
You can also call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 055 6112