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 us at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Keep your main living room around 70°F (21°C), and the rest of your home heated to at least 64°F (18°C).
Check your thermostat or use a room thermometer to monitor temperature but if you feel cold, turn the heat up regardless of what the thermometer reads.
Close the curtains at dusk and fit thermal linings if you can. This will keep the heat in.
Put guards on open fires, and be careful not to hang washing too close to the fire.
Don’t block up air vents, as fires and heaters need ventilation.
Keep your bedroom window closed at night when the weather is cold.
Test your carbon monoxide alarms. If you don’t have any alarms, you need to get one fitted in each room that has a gas appliance.
Contact your local Age UK for a benefits check and advice on any financial support you may be eligible for.Even if it isn't a severe winter, cold weather makes us more vulnerable to certain illnesses.
Make sure you keep your hands and face warm. As well as wearing gloves and a hat, always wrap a scarf around your face when you go out in cold weather, even for short intervals.
Several thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer, as the layers trap warm air. Clothes made from wool or fleecy synthetic fibres such as polyester are a better choice than cotton.
If you’re sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide a lot of warmth. Try to keep your feet up, as the air is cooler at ground level.
Wear warm clothes in bed.
Use a hot-water bottle, wheat bag or an electric blanket to warm the bed, but never use a hot-water bottle and an electric blanket together as this can be dangerous. If you have continence difficulties, talk to your doctor before using one.
Keep your feet warm. Choose boots with non-slip soles and a warm lining, or wear thermal socks.
Check local news and weather forecasts for advice when cold weather is predicted.