By Tarvin Webteam - 28th December 2014 6:00am
Keeping warm over winter
Low temperatures increase the risk of flu and other respiratory problems and can raise blood pressure. Blood pressure takes longer to return to normal in older people after being out in the cold and this puts you at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The colder your home, the higher the risk to your health. The recommended temperature for your main living room is around 70°F/21°C and the rest of the house should be heated to
at least 64°F/18°C but it's vitally important if you feel cold to turn the heat up regardless of what the thermometer reads.
You should get to know how the timer and thermostat on your heating system work. If it's very cold, set the timer to switch the heating on earlier, rather than turning the thermostat up to warm your house quickly. If you have individual thermostats on your radiators, make sure
they're set at the right temperature in the rooms where you spend the most of your time.
A few simple reminders
- Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house.
- Follow up your GP's invitation to have a flu jab.
- Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast.
- Ask our local pharmacy about their prescription pick-up and delivery service.
- Dress in plenty of layers and make sure that you have some warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles.
- Eat healthily and keep as active as possible.
- Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it's too cold to go shopping.
- Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather.
- Keep emergency numbers, for instance for your plumber and utilities companies, somewhere you can easily find.
- Make sure you have adequate, up-to-date insurance cover.
If you go away from home
Keep central heating or storage heaters set to come on at a low temperature when you are away. This will minimise the risks of tanks and pipes bursting through freezing.
Many insurance companies specify conditions if a house will be unoccupied for a certain amount of time. Always comply with these or it could seriously prejudice any claim. Get a neighbour or a friend to check on your house whilst you are away, and give them the contact number for a plumber and heating engineer in case of an emergency.
Make sure they know where the stopcock is.
(Ed. The photo was not taken yesterday!)