Following Met Office cold weather alerts for Lancashire, Age UK Blackburn with Darwen is urging older people, to take extra precautions to stay warm and well during the current cold snap.
Protection against the cold is vital for older people, who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of low temperatures.
Age UK has developed four tips to protect people’s health and keep warm in winter:
• It’s harder to judge temperatures as you get older. Use a thermometer to detect changes and act quickly. Keep your living room at 70°F (21°c) if possible
• Exposure to the cold during the night puts you at greater risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Keep your bedroom at 64°F (18°c)
• It’s a common misconception that sleeping with the window open all year round is healthy. Keeping windows open on a winter night puts you at greater risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Keep your bedroom windows closed at night
• Protect your fingers, mouth and head – these parts of your body are more sensitive to changes in temperature. Breathing in cold air can increase your chances of becoming seriously ill. Wrap up well when you go outside
Cold homes clearly pose a serious health risk and with energy bills on the rise again, many older people will be struggling to heat their homes and could be missing out on vital extra support.
Age UK also has a free ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ booklet full of useful information and tips on keeping warm and well this winter, including a free thermometer which can be obtained from Age UK Blackburn with Darwen’s offices in Blackburn and Darwen.
The charity is urging anyone who is worried about their heating bills to contact their Blackburn office on 266620 or Darwen office on 773440 for further information and advice.