1. ITV Report

Cold weather advice

A meals on wheels volunteer delivers a meal Photo: ITV Anglia

It's stopped snowing - for now - but temperatures are not expected to rise much above zero in the next few days.

  • During periods of prolonged cold weather you can help protect your health by: • Keeping your bedroom windows closed at night• Wrapping up well when you go outside• Keeping your living room at 70F (21C)• Keeping your bedroom at 65F (18C)

The winter weather can cause real problems for the elderly and means services like Meals on Wheels can be a lifeline.

The Meals on Wheels service began in Welwyn Garden City in the 1940s with volunteers delivering meals in straw-filled prams and wheel-barrows.

In Southend Meals on Wheels has been run for the past 10 years by volunteers from the WRVS.

At around 10:45 they start preparing the food. By 12:30 it's cooked and ready to be loaded into the cars.

1000 hot meals are delivered 7 days a week to people who otherwise wouldn't get anything to eat.

81-year-old Thomas Pritchard says it makes his life easier.

The charity Age UK gives the following advice to elderly people to prevent them suffering from the effects of the cold weather:

  • Keep moving because it generates heat. Don't sit still for longer than an hour.
  • Eat well and make sure you have at least one hot meal a day.
  • Have a seasonal flu jab which is free if you're over 65
  • Check you've had a 'pneumo jab' (The ‘pneumo’ (or pneumococcal) jab is a one-off jab that helps protect you against pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. Ask your GP about it if you’re over 65 and haven’t had one.)
  • Wrap up warm to prevent chilblains.
  • Keep your spirits up by contacting friends and going for a short walk during daylight hours if it's not too cold.
  • Keep your house warm - there's advice on how to do that on the Age UK website.

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