As Christmas TV adverts seek to encourage us to look after our vulnerable and elderly at Christmas, it's important to remember all through the winter. It is a time of year where we are encouraged to check on older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses to make sure they are safe warm and well.
The Government has produced an information booklet entitled Keep Warm Keep Well to provide information for Over 60s, Low income families and people living with disability. This can be accessed via: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/464858/KWKW_2015.pdf
Be a Good neighbour
Please check on elderly neighbours or relatives, and:
- Make sure they are eating and drinking regular hot meals and drinks – perhaps make an extra portion for them next time you're preparing a meal
- Check that their cupboards are stocked – if not, offer to pick them up some groceries on your next visit to the supermarket
- Advise them to wear several layers of thin clothes rather than one layer of thick clothing – this keeps warm air trapped
- Make sure their heating is in good working order and turned on – the temperature of a room that most of their time spent in should be between at least 18 degrees Celsius
- Ensure they have a couple of thick blankets handy
- Give them your phone number and make sure it's in a handy place if they do need your help.
Keep your home warm, efficiently and safely
- Heating your home to at least 18 degrees Celsius in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing
- Get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated
- Use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every three years. Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket
- Do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home; it is inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and this can kill
- Make sure you have a supply of heating oil or LPG or sold fuel if you are not on mains gas or electricty- to make sure you do not run out in winter.