Keep warm keep well during cold weather
As colder weather swiped across Essex last week, NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (MECCG)urged local people to take extra care. Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with long term conditions.
Top 5 tips to keep warm and well:
- Heat your home well
By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18-21ºC) you can still keep your home warm and lower your bills. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but never use both together. It is especially important if you’re at home all day.
- Wear sensible clothing when outdoors
Wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth when outdoors – add a hat and wear shoes with a good grip, too. If you have a heart or respiratory problem like asthma or COPD, stay indoors during very cold weather – check our #Scarfie for more top tips.
- Eat well and have plenty of fluids
Food and water are vital sources of energy, and they help keep your body warm. Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.
- Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked
If you’re on medication, make sure you get your repeat prescriptions in time so you don’t run out. Check to make sure you have enough over the counter remedies for coughs and colds so you don’t need to leave home unless you have to.
- Look after yourself and others
On cold days try to avoid going outside. However, if you do need to go out, remember to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during the winter to make sure they are safe and well
If you’re worried about a relative or elderly neighbour you contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1174 (8am-7pm every day). If you’re concerned that the person may be suffering from hypothermia you should contact NHS 111. Also more advice from NHS Choices.
The Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) aim to prevent and respond to crisis, support clients most at risk to access a benefits check and provide minor home improvements. This can include emergency heating, food, clothing, home visits, and transport.
Those most at risk include:
- older people, especially those over 75
- people living on their own and/or are socially isolated
- people with chronic and severe illness
- children under 5 living in poor housing
- homeless people/street sleepers
- fuel poor people
- people living in housing which is in poor condition and/or living in generally deprived circumstances
CVS contact details are:
If you are particularly vulnerable during cold weather because of health problems or a disability then you can apply to go on the Priority Services Register. People listed on this register will receive special attention in the event of a power cut.
Local winter warmth projects
You may qualify to receive FREE warm clothing or home items to help keep out the cold. To qualify you must fit at least ONE of the following criteria:
- Over 75 years
- Have a child under 5 years living at the household
- Have a long term health condition
If you live in Maldon, visit the Maldon and District CVS website.
If you live in Tendring, visit the Community Voluntary Services Tendring website.
Colchester Can Communities– project running until 31 March, giving extra support, provisions and advice to those who are in need or isolated during the winter. Read more.