Age UK issues warning as freezing conditions hit the UK
Published on 11 May 2018 11:42 AM
With temperatures set to fall over the next few days and freezing conditions forecast across most of the country towards the end of the week, Age UK is urging older people to wrap up warm and take sensible precautions to keep themselves safe and well.
Research shows that exposure to the cold can have a devastating impact on the health of 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 people’s health. The cold can also increase blood pressure, and breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
That’s why Age UK has produced its Winter Wrapped Up guide which offers practical advice to help older people stay warm and well in winter. The guide includes information on cold weather preparations, tips on staying healthy, ways to improve energy efficiency and advice on how to keep warm both inside and outside the home. There’s also a section about the benefits and concessions older people may be entitled to and in the middle of the printed version there’s a handy pull-out and keep room thermometer.
Anyone – whether an older person, carer, friend, neighbour or relative – can pick up a free guide by calling Age UK Advice on 0800 169 6565, downloading it from the Charity’s website www.ageuk.org.uk/winteror by contacting their local Age UK.
AGE UK’S TOP TIPS FOR STAYING WARM AND WELL THIS WINTER:
- 64°F (18°C) is the ideal temperature for your bedroom and 70°F (21°C) is the ideal temperature for your living room. Check your thermostat or use a room thermometer to monitor temperature
- Keep your bedroom window shut on at night. Breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
- Stay active and when you are indoors try not to sit still for more than an hour, if you can get up. Walk around or make a hot drink.
- Eat well. It’s important to eat well, especially in the winter. Have at least one hot meal a day and have regular hot drinks, as they help to keep you warm. Also stock up on basic food items in case of a cold snap and you can’t get out.
Caroline Abrahams. Charity Director at Age UK said:
"The cold weather can be really challenging for older people, particularly those who are more vulnerable because of pre-existing health conditions or who are living in housing that is difficult and expensive to heat. It can also be an especially lonely time, if older people feel it is too cold to go out and about."
“With the weather set to take a turn for the worse, we are urging people to check our advice to make sure they are doing everything they can to protect themselves against the cold weather.
“We’d also urge people to keep an eye on their older family members, friends or neighbours when the weather is particularly bad. Picking up some shopping for them or just popping in to check they’re OK and having a friendly chat can be a real help at this time of year.”
Last year, Age UK helped over five million older people with information and advice on a broad range of issues such as claiming benefits, housing options, paying for care and support, staying healthy, and making the most of the internet. Age UK’s range of free, independent information guides are also free to download and available to view online. As well as publishing guides and factsheets, the Charity offers essential support on a wide range of issues via its website and free advice line. People looking for advice can call Age UK’s national helpline 365 days a year from 8am - 7pm on 0800 169 6565, or visit the Charity’s website at www.ageuk.org.uk