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.
Cold weather can lead to serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
This is of concern if you're vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because you're over 60, on a low income (so can't afford heating) have a long-term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or are disabled.
Every winter in the UK, 25–30,000 deaths are linked to the cold weather. Currently, more than three million households in the UK are in fuel poverty. This is when a household spends more than 10% of its income to keep warm.
We've listed a few tips for you and your family on how to stay warm and well over the winter. These include:
- Keep your eye on the weather forecasts so you can be prepared in advance.
- Wear layers of clothes but nothing too tight or bulky.
- Consume hot food and drinks regularly - hot milk and soup are good choices.
- Wear a hat as a lot of body heat is lost through the head.
- If you can, move around regularly - this will keep your circulation flowing.
- Keep in regular contact with your friends and family.
- Keep health problems in check with your GP.
- See if you qualify for Winter Fuel Payments available for the over 60s - from the Department for Work & Pensions.
- Make sure you tell people how you are feeling.
- Invite friends round for hot chocolate and a chat - keep warm, and sociable!