Keeping Warm this Winter

Keeping Warm this Winter

The frost on the ground in the mornings is a timely reminder that for many the cold weather can be a problem for older people, keeping warm is extra important for these people or people with disabilities, long term illnesses or who are not very mobile

Keeping warm

  • Wear several layers of light clothes instead of one thick layer.
  • Wear clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy synthetic fibres.
  • Wear thermal underwear during the winter.
  • In very cold weather:
    • sleep with warm bedding and warm pyjamas or night dress,
    • wear bed socks and a night cap, and
    • keep a flask with a hot drink by your bed.

Keeping your home warm

Use a room thermometer or temperature monitor card (available through the website below, or some chemists/baby supply stores) to make sure your house is warm enough. If the temperature falls below 16ºC you could be at risk of hypothermia (when your body gets too cool to function properly).

  • Keep the living room warm throughout the day (21º C if active, 24º C if inactive).
  • Have heavy well-fitted curtains. Close them in the evening.
  • Heat your bedroom before going to bed and make sure the room is warm before you get up in the morning.
  • Close internal doors and do not leave windows open for long periods.
  • Draught proof around windows, external doors and letter box flaps to keep in heat. Make sure there is enough ventilation if you are using a natural gas or solid fuel fire in a room.

Eating well

Food is fuel. It helps keep you warm.

  • Have at least one hot meal a day.
  • Have hot drinks throughout the day and one before bedtime.
  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Keep stocked up on basic food for the days when you may be unable to get out to the shops or do not feel like cooking. Consider cooking extra portions of dinner that you can freeze for another meal. Tinned and frozen foods are other healthy options to keep in stock
  • TIP: Most supermarkets and some grocery shops can deliver your shopping to you. Check with your local store and keep their phone number.

For more information on keeping warm, well and safe in your own home including gas, electricity and fuel allowances, some tips on home safety and more see