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Keep Warm Keep Well

Keeping warm in winter

More people get ill in winter and the number of deaths rises. There is a direct link between cold weather and the higher death rate, especially amongst older people and others in at-risk groups.
Remember - winter does not have to be dangerous if you take the right steps.

Advice on keeping warm and well

  • Wearing several thinner layers of clothing is better than one or two thick layers of clothing
  • Wear long-sleeved and thermal underwear
  • Wear a thin silky scarf or handkerchief inside the collar
  • Take care to dress for the weather outside and wrap up warmly
  • Wear a hat or head scarf outside
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Try to keep as active as possible - any kind of activity will do - from walking to the shops to dusting and cleaning.
  • Avoid sitting down for long periods of time. If you have difficulty walking, moving your arms and legs, wiggling your fingers and toes will help.
  • You're never too old to give up smoking
  • Get a flu jab - this is recommended for anyone aged 65 or over, people with serious heart disease, serious respiratory disease, serious renal disease, diabetes.

The following five fact sheets are available to download below

Factsheet 1 : Why keep warm matters, and advice on keep well (PDF, 60KB)
Factsheet 2 : Keeping a warm home (PDF, 93KB)
Factsheet 3 : Financial help for a warmer home (PDF, 132KB)
Factsheet 4 : Help with heating bills (PDF, 91KB)
Factsheet 5 : More information and advice (PDF, 84KB)

 

Looking out for trouble

If someone has had an accident in their home, fallen and injured themselves or been taken ill, they may not be able to attract attention of neighbours, passers-by or people who call at the door. Always be on the look-out for signs that something might be wrong, especially when the weather is cold.

There are many signs to look out for:

  • Milk not taken in late in the day
  • Newspapers stuck in the letterbox
  • Curtains drawn during the day
  • Lights burning during the day
  • Home in darkness when there should be someone at home
  • Dog barking all day or the cat scratching to be let in

Prevention

Clearly, it is important to prevent people from becoming cold in the first place. Family, friends and neighbours in the community can look out for those who might be at risk from the cold. Prevention is always easier than cure! For further information on keeping warm and well this winter you can download one of the following guides (PDF):

Keep Warm, Keep Well: A guide for people over 60 (PDF, 256KB)
Keep Warm, Keep Well: A guide for families (PDF, 264KB)
Keep Warm, Keep Well: A guide for people with disabilities or long-term health conditions (PDF, 636KB)

or visit the Keep Warm Keep Well website

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a lowered deep-core body temperature of 35C/95F or below. It is the lowered temperature of the organs inside the body which is important - an ordinary thermometer cannot measure this. You may not actually feel cold but if you sit in a cold room and do little or nothing to keep warm then you may run the risk of becoming hypothermic or becoming ill with bronchitis or pneumonia. Both are cold-related illnesses.
Watch out for the danger signs:

Drowsiness;
Very cold skin on parts of the body normally covered, for example the stomach or armpits;
Slurred speech;
Absence of complaint about feeling cold, even in a bitterly cold room.

If you are in doubt

  • Move the person into warmer surroundings if possible
  • Wrap the person in a light layer of blankets or a duvet to avoid further loss of body heat give them warm, nourishing drinks
  • Call the doctor or nurse
  • Do not subject the person to any sudden extreme change of temperature - so do not put them next to a fire or give them hot water bottles or heavy layers of clothes or blankets.
  • Do not give them alcohol, as it will stimulate further heat loss through the skin.

How can you help yourself keep warm?

Safety is important in all aspects of keeping yourself warm. Care should be taken when using electric blankets or filling hot water bottles. Never use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket together, as this is extremely dangerous and could give you an electric shock.

You may be entitled to some additional financial help, especially during periods of very cold weather. For further information on financial help please download factsheet 4: Help with heating bills (PDF, 91KB).
Keeping warm in winter - Apply for a grant

Do you own your home or rent it from a private landlord? If so, you could qualify for a government grant of up to £2700 funded by the Government. Eaga Partnership, who manage part of the Warm Front scheme on behalf of the Government, are working with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to make sure as many local people as possible benefit from a warmer and healthier home.

Are you eligible?

You may qualify for a grant if you receive an income-related or disability-related benefit, and you:

  • Have children under 16;
  • Are 60 or over;
  • Are disabled;
  • Have a long-term illness; or
  • Are pregnant and have been given a MAT B1 certificate.

What can you use the grant for?

This government-funded grant offers energy-efficiency improvements such as loft and cavity wall insulation, draught-proofing, heating repairs and replacements, and installing central heating systems up to a maximum grant value of £2700. However, to be eligible for a Warm Front grant, you do need to own your home or rent it from a private landlord.

How to apply

It's easy to find out if you qualify for a grant. Just fill in the short form below and return it to the address shown at the bottom. You do not need to use a stamp. The Warm Front Team will then contact you to arrange a visit and assess what they can do to make your home warmer. There is a waiting list, so don't delay – apply now.

If you're not sure what benefits you are entitled to, please send us your details using the form below. One of our advisors will contact you for a free and confidential advice service to check whether you are missing out on a benefit and a Warm Front grant.

Download the Warm Front grant application form (PDF, 35KB).

When you have filled in this form, please return it to:

Networking Team
Eaga Partnership Limited
Freepost NEA12054
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE2 1BR
(You do not need a stamp.)

If you are not eligible for the Warm Front grant, please call the local Energy Efficiency Advice Line on 0800 512 012 for information about other grants that may be available in your area.

Contact Details

For further advice on keeping warm during the winter and how you get help please contact the Energy Conservation Officer C/o Private Officer C/o Private Sector Services on 0121 704 6450 or email rdunlevy@solihull.gov.uk.