Tips for keeping warm and well this winter

With energy bills rising, there are fears some people will not be able to keep themselves warm when the cold weather comes. Photo: PA

Cold weather is linked to at least 25,000 deaths each year and is particularly dangerous for people over 65 and for those with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

According to the NHS, keeping warm over the winter can help prevent colds and flu, as well as more serious conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

The Met Office gives this advice for keeping staying well and keeping warm this winter:

  • If you are eligible for a free flu jab, take advantage
  • Keep your home heated to between 18C and 21C
  • Layer your clothing and wear shoes with good grip when you go outside
  • Try to eat regularly hot meals and drink hot drinks
  • Wash your hands regularly to stop the spread of viruses

The NHS adds these tips for when the weather gets very cold:

  • Draw your curtains to block draughts
  • Keep active in your home
  • Eating regularly keeps energy levels up during the winter
  • If you can't heat all of your house, heat your living room during the day and your bedroom at night

How to spot hypothermia

Initial symptoms include:

  • Shivering
  • Tiredness
  • Fast breathing
  • Cold or pale skin
  • Dropped temperature

You should seek medical help immediately if you suspect someone has hypothermia. Call 999 to request an ambulance.

The Charity Age UK adds these tips for keeping warm:

  • Keep your doors shut
  • Don't wear one thick piece of clothing - wear several thick items
  • Draw your curtains at night to retain heat
  • Eat regular hot meals and drink hot beverages
  • Phone your local Age UK for more information: 0800 169 6565

Related: Government's costly plan to stop winter deaths