Keeping warm and well during winter
By: fishadmin, On: 07 February 2017
During the winter months, colder temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions can often cause undue problems for those who are more at risk, such as elderly people and those with a long-term illness, health problem, or disability. Here’s Fish Insurance’s guide to keeping warm and well in winter.
Keep yourself and your home warm
It can be tempting not to use your heating during the colder months, especially because of high energy bills. Many older people can take advantage of schemes such as the Winter Fuel Payment, which entitles you to a tax-free amount of between £100 – £300 to contribute to your heating costs. This is applicable to you if you were born on or before January 5 1953. You still have chance to claim this in 2017, up until the end of March.
Another scheme available, if you already receive certain benefits, is the Cold Weather Payment, focused on average temperatures in your area. This also runs until the end of March 2017, so take a look here to see if you are applicable.
Wearing layers, such as long-sleeved cotton tops and fleeces, will supply you with added warmth, as well as a good supply of hot food and drinks. You could even invest in a onesie!
Improve your mood
It’s not just the physical effects of winter, but the mental consequences too. People at risk are more likely to stay indoors, isolating themselves from the outside world and limiting their physical activity and exercise. This can lead to low mood and even increase the risk of depression.
If you live near someone who you think may be isolated, especially at this time of year, make a conscious effort to check in on them. Not only will this provide them with some much needed companionship, it also gives you the opportunity to ensure they are warm enough and have enough food.
If you do have a health condition such as respiratory problems or asthma, you may be entitled to a free flu jab on the NHS. Ensuring you receive the right medical care is vital for decreasing the risk of spreading the flu or a cold and keeping you strong and healthy during winter. For more information on the flu jab, take a look here for further details.
Try not to take unnecessary risks with your heath too; if you feel unwell or develop a cough / sore throat, ensure you contact your GP as soon as possible, as it’s important to receive treatment before your symptoms become worse.
Being careful outside
When outdoors, make sure you wear sturdy shoes with a good grip, or check that your wheelchair / mobility vehicle is suited to the icy or slippy conditions. Try not to travel alone if possible; you can avoid this by planning your journeys in advance.
Keep an eye on weather reports too. This allows you to ensure you have everything you need if you do decide to venture outdoors (such as rain covers, extra batteries if you have a motorised chair, and provisions.)
Bad weather can happen throughout the year, but we are more likely to see difficult and treacherous conditions throughout the winter season. Prepare yourself and your home by stocking up on tinned food, a torch, candles, and plenty of blankets. Ensure that you communicate with people outside of your home to let them know you’re okay.
For more information on how to stay warm and safe this winter, take a look at the NHS website or HM Government’s handy booklet. If you require insurance for your mobility scooter or car, take a look at our policies today.