Bluebird Care launches Winter Warmth campaign

Published: 24/10/2014

Bluebird Care is urging older people, their families, friends and neighbours to think WARMTH this winter to save lives.

Older people, their families, friends and neighbours to think WARMTH this winter to save lives, leading home care provider Bluebird Care has urged.
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.
Last winter was one of the coldest on record with 31,000 additional deaths where two thirds (25,600) were accounted for by over-75s.  In March, the coldest in fifty years, 1,582 people died each day.
A full regional breakdown of winter deaths by local authority area is attached.
The threat of another severe winter has lead Bluebird Care to issue a reminder for how people can prepare for the cold weather.  Bluebird Care is urging the public to think WARMTH.
W   Wrap Up dress warmly and make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes with good grip when you go outside to prevent falls.
A   Stay Alert Keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure you are stocked up with food and medicine in advance of a cold snap. If you have elderly neighbours, try and check up on them during cold weather.
R   Risk Try and minimise the risk of falls or becoming ill by taking the weather into account when you plan activity when severe weather is forecast.  Make sure you plan ahead for the cold weather by getting a flu jab, and talking to your neighbours about clearing snow in front of your home.
M   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, available to anyone born before July 1952, and if it gets very cold you could be entitled to additional Cold Weather Payments.
T   Temperature Keep your bedroom heated to 18°C and your living room at 21°C.  If you can only afford to keep one room heated, then keep the heating on in your living room during the day and turn it on in your bedroom just before you go to sleep.
H   Hot meals Try to have at least one hot meal a day, and have hot drinks throughout the day to keep you warm. Eating regularly will help to keep up your energy levels 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.”