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Keeping warm in the winter

Posted on 23/01/2013

Winter isn’t everyone’s favourite season and there’s no doubt that the cold weather can be a worry for those of us in later life. As we get older, our bodies respond differently to the cold. This can leave us more vulnerable in cold weather. But with a little preparation, and by following some simple suggestions, we can help ourselves to stay healthy, safe and as comfortable as possible this winter.

Keeping warm both inside and outside your home can help to reduce your risk of serious health problems that are more common in the colder months such as chest infections, heart attacks and stroke.

Preparing for winter

Getting ready for the cold weather – which can start as early as October – means that you’re more likely to keep warm and well. Here’s a list of things you can do to ward off the winter chills.

  1. Have your heating system serviced and chimney swept, or ask your landlord to do this if it’s their responsibility. 
  2. If you have wood-burning, coal or gas heaters, make sure that you have adequate ventilation.
  3. Check with your energy supplier for further advice to help you prepare for winter.
  4. Check that your water stopcock is working properly.
  5. Have your electric blanket serviced – this should be done at least every three years.
  6. Make sure that your smoke alarm is working and install a carbon monoxide detector in case air vents become blocked.
  7. Make sure that you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills. Your local Age UK can advise you.
  8. Dress in plenty of layers and make sure that you have some warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles.
  9. Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather. Some councils provide free bags of the mix. 

This article was written for You're the Boss by Betterlife products

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