Keep warm, keep well

Keep warm, keep well

One of the most effective ways to keep 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, pneumonia and depression.

Dr Fiona Butler, Chair of NHS West London Clinical Commissioning Group said, “Cold homes have a significant impact on your health, so it is important to keep your home warm as well as your body. As temperatures continue to drop, it is vital we all look after ourselves and our families in the right ways.”

The chances of becoming unwell over this period 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 and can’t afford heating
  • You have a long-term health condition, such as heart, lung or kidney disease
  • You are disabled

 

DID YOU KNOW? On average, there are around 25,000 excess winter deaths each year in England. Evidence shows that some of these winter deaths are related to cold temperatures and their consequences, and are easily avoidable.

Keep your home warm

  • If you are 65 or over, have reduced mobility, or have a health condition, you should heat your home to at least 18C
  • Make sure you also 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 with this temperature
  • You can also use a hot water bottle to keep warm whilst in bed

 

Eat well in winter

Food is a vital source of energy, which helps keep your body warm. If possible try to make sure you have hot meals at least once a day, and hot drinks regularly throughout the day.

 

Stay active

It is well known that exercise is good for your overall health, but it can also be efficient in keeping you warm during winter. If you can stay active, even at a moderate level, then it can bring  health benefits.

 

Wear warm clothes

It is important to dress correctly during the winter, and wearing lots of thin layers helps to maintain body heat better than one thick layer. Clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good at maintaining body heat.

 

Top tip: Wear shoes with a good grip to prevent slips and falls when walking outside. If possible, stay inside during extremely cold periods if you have heart or respiratory problems.

 

Winter Grants
As temperatures continue to plummet, it is important that everyone is able to heat their home efficiently. Financial and practical help is available for those who need further assistance heating their homes. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment.

 

For more information on cold weather benefits and other help available, read the ‘Financial help to heat your home’ section in the Keep warm, keep well leaflet.

 

How to be energy efficient
The Energy Saving Trust has advice on how to reduce bills and make your home more energy efficient. They can also advise on grants and schemes available around the UK.

Find out more online by visiting the EST website or call 0300 123 1234 (9am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday).

CCG Press Office

media@nw.london.nhs.uk

T: 020 3350 4224