Keeping warm and well in Winter
Winter weather is associated with an increase in illnesses and injuries. Cold and wintry conditions can cause severe illness and, in the worst cases, people can die. The cold weather, combined with low levels of sunlight after the clocks go back, means that many of us can feel in poor health. However, with some simple precautions, most people can be prepared and prevent much of the misery often associated with winter weather. Severe cold snaps can have dramatic effects on everyday life, especially for those people who are vulnerable because of poor health or disability Here are a few tips:
Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). Keep your bedroom window closed on a winter’s night. Breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
Get financial support
There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. See how to heat your home below
Look after yourself
- get your free flu jab if you are aged 65 or over, have an underlying health condition, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person. Some children are also eligible.
- the NHS website provides information about flu vaccination. Visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine to learn more. Contact your GP or Pharmacy for an appointment as soon as possible
- don’t delay in getting treatment for minor winter ailments like colds or sore throats. Visit your local pharmacist for advice on treatment before it gets worse so you can recover quicker.
- layer your clothing whether you are indoors or outside. Wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air. Wear a hat.
- wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside.
- if you know there is going to be a cold snap, stock up on food and stay in until it is safe to go out. Ask a neighbour or volunteer for support.
- always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and encourage visitors and relatives to do the same; throw away used tissues as soon as possible; wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and use a hand sanitiser gel when you’re out and about; stock up on over-the-counter cough and cold remedies.
- if possible, try to move around at least once an hour.
- chair-based exercises and simply moving your arms and legs and wiggling your toes are helpful if walking is difficult.
- make warm drinks regularly. Moving keeps the air warmer and the drink will warm you up.
Help to heat your home
There are various options available to help you heat your home, including:
- Winter Fuel Payments – government payments to help you pay for your gas and electricity and keep warm in winter
- Cold Weather Payments – are made to help you keep warm over extended cold spells of weather.
- Energy Services, Newcastle City Council – provide advice, information, access to grants towards cavity wall and loft insulation, central heating and other energy efficiency measures.
See Help with heating problems and how to pay for them for more information.
Other Useful Information
- Keep Warm Keep Well booklet from Public Health
- How fit exercise online including chair based exercises
- Benefits of being physically active
Last updated: October 20, 2020