Keep warm, keep well

Living in a cold home can be very bad for your health. There are more colds and flu viruses circulating during the colder months and a cold home could make your symptoms worse. For some people, a cold home can increase the chances of having a heart attacks, stroke, pneumonia, depression, or low moods.

Who is most at risk?

Some people's bodies do not cope with the cold very well and they can be at risk of illness. These are:

  • people over the age of 65

  • young children and babies

  • people with long term health conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes and arthritis

  • people with a disability or people who find it hard to move around their home

What temperature should my house be?

For healthy and active people under 65, 18 degrees is ideal

For people over 65, young children and babies or people with existing illness, 20 degrees is ideal

Top tips for keeping yourself and others warm and well

  • you can use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm while you are in bed BUT do not use both at the same time

  • eat well - food is energy, which helps to keep your body warm

    • try to have hot meals and drinks. Eating healthy, balanced meals regularly can help your body make the energy it needs to keep you warm. Find tips on healthy eating, healthy cooking videos and how to get hold of free healthy cookbooks
    • having hot meals regularly helps warm you from the inside. Hot drinks through the day are important to warm you and keep you hydrated, so your body is working properly
    • When making a hot drink boil two extra cups of water and fill a flask with the spare water to use for hot drinks through the day

  • wrap up warm - a few thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer
    • shawls or blankets will help when sitting

  • if you can, keep active round the house
    • this will help to keep your joints moving and keep you warm

  • check in on your friends, family, and neighbours, to make sure they are keeping warm and well
  • visit one of our Welcome Spaces
    • these are free, warm safe places across the district where you can enjoy a hot drink and some company. Find out more on our Welcome Spaces page.

Worried about the cost of bills or being able to keep your home warm?

  • if you are worried about the cost of keeping your home warm or your house is hard to keep warm, we might be able to help - Visit our Warm Homes page

  • if you would help with money advice or claiming benefits visit our Cost of Living Support pages

  • are you are struggling with paying your energy bills, or living in a cold, damp, or draughty home?
    • the Healthy Housing team can provide insulation and heating upgrades to residents who qualify for the scheme

To find out more, including if you are eligible, visit the Healthy Housing page.

Snowbell Severe weather responder network

Age UK Wakefield District Snowbell service is activated in periods of severe winter weather to support older people and their carers to:

  • keep safe in their own home
  • provide links to statutory and emergency services
  • access reliable local tradespeople

Our aim is to avoid older people having to risk going out in severe weather or running out of food at home. Snowbell Responders can pick up emergency shopping for you. This covers basic food and provisions and deal with any urgent issues.

All Snowbell Responders have ID badges and security clearance.

We also offer winter information packs to help older people plan for the bad weather covering:

  • stocking up your cupboards
  • wearing suitable footwear
  • topping up credits and payment cards
  • keeping your home at the right temperature

Older people or carers can contact Snowbell by calling 01977 552114.

Snowbell is part of the many services offered by Age UK Wakefield District for older individuals in the area.

Our single point of contact is available weekdays between 9:30am and 4:30pm.

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