Keeping warm at home during the winter can be hard for anyone, but particularly for older people or those with a long-term illness. The HSE has produced a useful information booklet called “Keep Well and Warm”, which includes the following tips:
- Eat well: Food is fuel and it helps keep you warm. Try and have one hot meal a day and hot drinks throughout the day. Most supermarkets will deliver your groceries if you can’t get out, also there is a Meals on Wheels Service in most parts of the country.
- Keep active while at home: Walk around the house regularly if you can. But if you have difficulty walking or moving your arms and legs, wiggle your fingers and toes while sitting. Wear several layers of light clothes instead of one thick layer.
- In very cold weather, try to 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.
- Keep your home as warm as you can. Keep the living room warm throughout the day (21º C if active, 24º C if inactive). Have heavy well-fitted curtains, and close them in the evening to minimise heat loss through the windows. 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.
The entire HSE leaflet can be viewed by clicking here