According to weather forecasts, we could experience the worst winter we’ve seen in decades. The Beast from the East saw 17 people die in 2018 and it could return with a vengeance this year, with temperatures reaching -15 degrees Celsius.
Some of the people affected most by the cold are the elderly.
When temperatures drop below eight degrees, people over the age of 65 or those with long-term health conditions are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, flu, pneumonia, trips and falls and hypothermia.
It’s important to ensure their houses are properly prepared in advance. Now is the time to test boilers and make any small changes around the home that could help.
Here are several things you can do in your elderly friend, neighbour of loved-one’s home to ensure they’re well prepared:
- Bleed the radiators – this will ensure they are ready and working well for winter
- Stock up on draught excluders to block out any cold coming in under doors
- Seal joints around doors and windows that could let in any cold
- Wrap pipes with insulation to stop water turning to ice and potentially breaking the pipes
- Run the central heating for at least an hour a day
- See if you or your elderly friend, neighbour or relative is eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment.
We also have lots of advice of how to keep warm once cold temperatures hit. This includes wearing lots of layers and keeping as active as possible. You can read our handy advice here.