Help keeping warm
Keeping warm during Winter can help prevent illnesses like colds and flu, as well as more serious health conditions.
Support and advice is available for anyone who needs help with heating or staying well in the winter.
Keep Warm, Keep Well
The NHS Choices website has lots of information and advice on staying warm and healthy during Winter, including what to do to cope with very cold weather.
Visit the NHS Choices Keep Warm, Keep Well website
View the NHS Choices advice for very cold weather
Public Health England have produced the ‘Keep Warm, Keep Well’ advice guide for for over 65s, low-income families and people living with disabilities.
View the Keep Warm, Keep Well advice guide
Age UK Stockport hold an annual Winter Warmth event. This year it is on Tuesday 6th December 2016, 11am-2pm at The Hatworks. Find out more atwww.ageuk.org.uk/stockport/events/age-uk-stockport-winter-warmth-day/ or phone 0161 480 1211.
Help with Heating and Energy Bills
Benefits and discounts
There are a number of benefits and discounts available to help with energy bills:
- Winter Fuel Payments: You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 January 1953.
- Cold Weather Payments: You may be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you receive certain benefits. Payments are made when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.
- Warm Home Discount Scheme: For winter 2015 to 2016, you could get £140 off your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money isn’t paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, usually between September and March.
For more information about all of these, visit the Gov.uk website.
Visit the Gov.uk heating and housing and benefits website
Tips on saving energy
The Energy Saving Trust can give you tips on saving energy in your home to lower your bills.
Visit the Energy Saving Trust website
You may be able to reduce your energy bills by switching your supplier or changing your energy tariff. There is independent advice on switching energy suppliers available through Ofgem (the organisation that regulates gas and electricity market in ). Visit the Ofgem website
Keep an eye on those who might be at risk - ways you can be a Winter Friend
This winter support the NHS Choices Winter Friends campaign – look in on an older relative, friend or neighbour during the cold weather.
- Drop in on an older friend or neighbour each week – try to do it more often during very cold spells.
- Make sure you check that their home is warm. Generally, the living room area should be around 21°C (70°F), while bedrooms slightly cooler at 18°C (65°F). If they tell you they’re concerned about heating costs, ask them if they’re receiving heating bill benefits, such as Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment.
- Eating well is crucial for retaining the energy that keeps us warm. Always ensure that the person you are visiting is eating well and has non-perishable foods in the kitchen they can heat if they’re unable to leave their home in the cold weather. Make sure they have a good supply of soup and tinned meals.
- Everyone who is over 65 years old should have a free flu jab and many older people take medicines. When you are with them, let them know you can do anything to help, such as collecting a prescription or driving them to their GP.
- Please remember, if you are not well do not pass on any illness. Also, let others know if you are unwell and unable to pop by. Older people will really rely on your visit. So please have someone on standby to help out for the week.
- It is vital for older people to remain active and go out when they can. It you are taking them out, ensure the person has warm shoes with a strong grip in case of frost. Also, of course, a good coat, hat and gloves. Make sure you offer to walk with them if they are not very confident on their own. When it snows, be sure to clear the path to their front door.
Note that links to websites open in a new window.