Skip to content
Please donate

Spread the Warmth

Each winter one person dies needlessly every seven minutes

Last winter Mavis' house was freezing. The only place she could keep warm was in bed. Age UK helped her get warm again.

Each winter, one older person dies every 7 minutes from the cold. There is a general lack of awareness of the serious effects that cold weather can have on an older person's health. There are some simple things you can do to support them through the cold weather too:

  • Call in or visit more often if the cold weather stops your friend or family member from getting out and about. Calling in on someone can help keep their spirits up and make them feel less isolated.
  • Make sure they have basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping, or offer to shop online for them if they don’t have internet access.
  • Pick up prescriptions if it’s too cold for them to go out, or find out if their local pharmacy offers a prescription pick-up and delivery service.
  • Make sure they don't have a fall. Bring round a mixture of salt and sand for putting on steps or paths in icy weather. Some councils provide free bags of the mix, otherwise try a local DIY store.
  • Encourage them to keep warm. Their main living room should be heated to 70F/21C, and the rest of the house heated to at least 64F/18C. Low temperatures increase the risk of flu and other respiratory problems and can raise blood pressure.
  • Help them get a benefits check to make sure they’re claiming everything they’re eligible for. Their local Age UK can offer a benefits check, or they can use our online benefits calculator.

Become part of our story

Sign up today

Back to top