The cold winter weather can cause older and vulnerable people to become ill and in extreme cases cause admission to hospital or worse. It’s also important that you do all you can to keep yourself healthy and well in winter too.
Heating your home can be really expensive but there are services available that can offer support.
Top tips for staying warm
- Heat your home as best you can, but if you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom at night
- Keep your bedroom window closed during the winter because breathing in cold air can increase your risk of chest infections
- Layer your clothing whether you are indoors or outside. Wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air when you go outside
- Close your curtains and shut doors behind you to keep heat in the rooms you use most
- Make sure you receive any winter allowances you’re entitled to such as the Warm Home Discount, Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment
- Make sure you are paying the lowest fuel tariff. Lots of people stay with their energy provider because it’s easier, but it’s worth shopping around for a better deal. Some local councils and housing providers can offer advice and practical support with changing your tariff and/or provider. Or why not ask a family member or friend for some help if you aren’t confident using the internet
Don’t forget your flu jab. If you’re a carer it’s likely you and the person you care for are both eligible for a free flu jab.
Get help early if you or the person you look after feel unwell. If you or the person you care for start to feel poorly, even if it’s just a cold, take advice from your local pharmacist to try and prevent it getting any worse. You can talk to a Derbyshire Community Pharmacists in confidence and you don’t need to make an appointment.
Check the opening times of your GP surgery and pharmacy – make sure you’ve got all the medications you and the person you look after need over weekends and also the Easter bank holidays. Also if you think you could possibly need help from emergency or crisis services and helplines, check their opening hours in advance.
Keep moving. Getting out and about is difficult in the cold weather but try and stay as active as you can. Even if you can’t get out, try and do what you can at home to keep moving. There are loads of videos you can follow on websites like YouTube and you’ll get the benefit even if you just do ten minutes of gentle exercise each day.
Warmer Derby and Derbyshire
If you think you’ll struggle to stay warm and afford your energy bills this winter you can call Warmer Derby & Derbyshire on 0800 6771332.
This free energy helpline offers impartial advice on how to stay warm at home, afford energy bills and be more energy efficient. Householders across the county might be eligible for financial help with a new boiler, money off their energy bills, help with energy bill debt, or a home visit for more advice.
Healthy Homes Services
If you or the person you look after have a health condition or illness that is made worse by the cold and you struggle to afford to heat your home, the Healthy Homes Service may be able to help on tel: 01629 536919. If they can’t help, they’ll try to direct you to someone who can.
You’ll also find information and top tips on staying warm and well in winter on our website: www.carersinderbyshire.org.uk