Think WARMTH to save lives this winter
Bluebird Care is urging older people, their families, friends and neighbours need to think WARMTH this winter to save lives.
As the weather starts to get colder, Bluebird Care is sending out the strong message that cold can kill – and is urging people around the country to prepare for the winter with some simple steps to stay warm and safe.
Recently, the UK has seen some of the coldest Winter weather on record with 31,000 additional deaths recorded during 2013. In March 2013, one of the coldest in fifty years, 1,582 people died each day, which is substantially higher than average.
The threat of another severe winter has led Bluebird Care to issue a reminder for how people can prepare for the cold weather. Bluebird Care is urging the public to think WARMTH.
Wrap Up indoors and outdoors. Wearing extra layers indoors can help you keep warm. If you need to go outside, sturdy shoes with good grip or attachable grips to wear over your shoes can help prevent falls, and an insulated waterproof coat will help keep you warm and dry.
Alert Keep an eye on the weather forecast, stock up with nutritious food and speak to your GP about medicine in advance of a cold snap. If you have vulnerable neighbours, try and check up on them during cold weather.
Risk Minimise the risk of falls or becoming ill by taking the weather into account when you plan activity when severe weather is forecast. Plan ahead for the cold weather by talking to your GP about getting a flu jab, and talking to your neighbours about clearing snow in front of your home.
Money Winter bills can be very expensive. Make sure that you’re receiving all of the benefits you’re eligible for. In addition to the Winter Fuel Payments (Helpline 0845 915 1515), if it gets very cold you could be entitled to additional Cold Weather Payments (Helpline 0800 731 7898). Please call 0845 601 8821 for the Helpline in Northern Ireland.www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/heating
Temperature Keep your bedroom heated to 18°C (64°F) and your living room around 21°C (70°F). If you prefer to heat just your living room during the day, to keep you warm through the night try heating your bedroom just before you go to sleep.
Hot Meals One hot meal a day and hot drinks throughout the day can help to keep you warm. Eating nutritious food regularly can help to keep up your energy levels and support your immune system in the cold weather.
Commenting, Director of Operations at Bluebird Care, Fiona Williams said:
"We love to talk about the weather in this country, but we often gloss over the real threat to life that our winters can cause for older and vulnerable people.
"Our winters can be quite mild, which mean people take fewer precautions against the cold. It’s important that people start planning for the cold weather now by taking simple precautions like making sure they’re getting the benefits they’re eligible for, speaking to their neighbours about how they might cope with heavy snow or ice, and getting their flu jabs.
"We’re also urging people across the country to make sure that they are checking in with their elderly friends and neighbours to make sure that they stay safe this winter. Simple measures like helping an elderly neighbour stock up on food ahead of a cold snap could save them from a nasty fall if they try to venture out in bad weather.
"After our warm summer we must not be complacent about the upcoming winter. We’re urging everyone to think WARMTH this winter and to help to prevent the thousands of needless cold weather deaths each year.”