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Look after older neighbours in cold weather

Cold weather alert January 22

Published on 14 January 2022 02:50 PM

There is a 90% probability of severe cold weather between 6pm on Thursday 13 Jan and 9am on Monday 17 Jan in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Age UK are asking people look out for older neighbours and make sure they have everything they need to keep warm and well.

Exposure to the cold can have a devastating impact on older people, who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of low temperatures. As people get older it takes longer to warm up which can be bad for health. Breathing in cold air lowers the body temperature, and raises the risk of chest infections, heart attacks and strokes.

Ask older people to heat their home to a steady temperature throughout the day and night, we recommend at least 18°C (64°F), and wear suitable clothing. It is also best to keep bedroom windows shut on a winter’s night.

Beat the bad weather with these simple steps:

1. If bad weather is forecast, make sure you have everything you need. Check you've got enough medication and food in case it's harder to leave the house. A bottle of water could be handy if the water supply is interrupted.

2. Have torches handy around the home in case of a power cut. And some spare batteries too!

3. Keep emergency numbers nearby. Call 105 in the event of a power cut – you can report a power cut and get information and advice if there is one in your area. You can also register with your supplier so they'll call you in the event of a power cut.

4. Take extra care if the ground is slippery. Wear shoes with good grip and consider keeping salt and sand mixture handy to grit paths. You could ask your neighbours for help to clear paths or driveways clear in bad weather – most people are more than happy to help.

5. Plan ahead when driving. Try to avoid going out in the car in bad weather if possible, and make sure you follow advice on driving conditions near you. If you do need to go out, pack up the following kit in case you get stuck: blankets, a bottle of water or flask of hot drink, some snacks, a shovel, a de-icer or scraper, a mobile phone and charger