HomeCareDirect wanted to remind you all to keep warm and well at this time of year.  As stated on the NHS Choices website cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm.

Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

The chances of these problems are higher if you’re vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because of one or more of the following:

  • You’re over 65
  • You’re on a low income (so can’t afford heating)
  • You have a long-term health condition, such as heart, lung or kidney disease
  • You are disabled

How to fight flu

Flu is a highly infectious illness that can spread rapidly. You may be eligible for a free flu jab if you’re at risk of complications from flu. Find out if you can get the flu jab for free on the NHS.

Keep your home warm

If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18C. It’s a good idea to keep your bedroom at this temperature all night if you can. During the day you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer. Make sure you wear enough clothes to stay warm.

If you’re under 65 and healthy and active, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C, if you’re comfortable.
You can also use a hot water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you’re in bed.

Eat well in winter

Food is a vital source of energy, which helps keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.

Stay active

We all know that exercise is good for your overall health – and it can keep you warm in winter. If you can stay active, even moderate exercise can bring health benefits. If possible, try not to sit still for more than an hour or so. Remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plan.

Wear warm clothes

Wrap up warm, inside and out. Wear lots of thin layers – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and help to maintain body heat. Wear shoes with a good grip to prevent slips and falls when walking outside. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.

Help your neighbours in winter

Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather.

If you’re worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.

Read more tips on how to cope in very cold weather on the NHS Choices website here.

To find out more about the HomeCareDirect please visit our website here or feel free to get in touch with us here at HomeCareDirect if there is anything you’d like to ask us.