Keeping warm in winter
Keeping warm is especially important for older or more vulnerable people and those who have long-term medical conditions.
You can find out more information about the help available to pay your energy bills and reduce your energy consumption and Derbyshire County Council has put together a comprehensive guide to keeping warm in winter.
If you care for someone, you can help to protect them from the cold weather by supporting them to keep their home warm. It's also important that you do all you can to keep yourself healthy and well in winter too.
If you or the person you look after are eldery, disabled, vulnerable or have a long term health condition, it's worth signing up for the Priority Services Register. Signing up to the register is free and ensures you are given extra support and information in the event of a power cut.
Top tips for staying warm
- If you can’t heat your home, then try to heat yourself – a heated fleece or electric blanket will only cost a few pence an hour to run but read the safety instructions before use
- The most important time to put heating on is first thing in the morning as your house loses its heat throughout the night
- Your blood pressure will rise when you move from a warm place to a cold place. If you have heart or breathing conditions, then you could put yourself at risk with sudden temperature changes
- You burn more calories when you’re cold so have hot drinks throughout the day and try to eat at least one hot meal a day
- Make sure you receive any winter allowances you're entitled to such as the Warm Home Discount, Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment
- Make sure you are paying the lowest fuel tariff. Lots of people stay with their energy provider because it's easier, but it's worth shopping around for a better deal. Some local councils and housing providers can offer advice and practical support with changing your tariff and/or provider. Or why not ask a family member or friend for some help if you aren't confident using the internet?
Staying well this Winter
Don't forget your flu jab. If you're a carer it's likely you and the person you care for are both eligible for a free flu jab.
Get help early if you or the person you look after feel unwell. If you or the person you care for start to feel poorly, even if it's just a cold, take advice from your local pharmacist to try and prevent it getting any worse. You can talk to a Derbyshire Community Pharmacists in confidence and you don't need to make an appointment.
Check the opening times of your GP surgery and pharmacy - make sure you've got all the medications you and the person you look after need over weekends and also the Easter bank holidays. Also if you think you could possibly need help from emergency or crisis services and helplines, check their opening hours in advance.
Keep moving - getting out and about is difficult in the cold weather but try and stay as active as you can. Even if you can't get out, try and do what you can at home to keep moving. There are Live Life Better Videos and strictly no falling classes you can follow. You'll get the benefit even if you just do ten minutes of gentle exercise each day.
You can get more advice about staying well in winter by visiting
- Derbyshire County Council - Your Health
- NHS - Stay Well this Winter
- NHS - Keep Warm, Keep Well
- NHS - Joined Up Care Derbyshire - Healthy, warm and well
Travelling and staying safe in winter weather
It's always best to avoid travelling in bad weather if you can help it. But if you do need to go out make sure you check the weather forecast and try and plan around it as much as you can. If you live in a rural area stock up on essentials in case you and the person you look after are ever stranded.
If it's snowing or icy you can check the Derbyshire County Council website for the latest information on road closures and gritting schedules.