It is essential to look after yourself during winter and there are some simple, cost effective things you can do to keep warm and stay healthy.
- During the day set your thermostat to around 21°C (70F) and heat the rooms you use
- Set heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed
- At night keep bedroom temperature above 18°C (65F) and ventilate the room if using a fire or heater
- Keep warm with an electric blanket or a hot water bottle but never use them together
- Wrap up warm, inside and out. Wear plenty of thin layers made of wool, cotton, or fleecy synthetic fibres
- Put some extra blankets on to keep warm at night or wear bed socks and thermal underwear for bed
- Have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day
- Stock up on food essentials to make sure trips outdoors are limited
- Keep active. Move around at least once an hour and don't sit for long periods of time
- If you are in a high risk group (over 65, pregnant, have a long-term health condition, weakened immune system or care for people in the 'at risk' group) then you can receive a free flu vaccination.
What should you do if you suspect hypothermia?
If you see someone showing signs of hypothermia eg very cold skin even under clothes, drowsiness and slurred speech or loss of sensation, dial 999 for an ambulance immediately and try to warm the person gradually by warming the room and giving them a warm drink.
Don't give them alcohol or try to warm them up quickly. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during winter to make sure they are safe and well.
For more information on how to keep your home warmer or how to reduce your energy bills visit Your home in winter
Cold weather benefits
You may also be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment.