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A Guide for Retirees to Navigate the Cold Weather

15/12/2023 Blog

As the cold weather settles in, it becomes imperative for everyone, especially retirees or those over 65 or with existing health issues, to take extra care. Cold weather is not just uncomfortable; it can pose significant health risks, including flu, falls, pneumonia, and hypothermia. This article provides a comprehensive guide to help you stay warm, healthy, and comfortable during the chilly months ahead.

Weather Awareness 

Keep an eye on weather forecasts and severe weather warnings issued by the Met Office through their website, Twitter feed, or Weather Desk. Watch the news and keep abreast of changes. Being aware of upcoming cold spells allows you to prepare and take necessary precautions. Stock up on essential supplies to minimise the need to go outside during extreme cold. Explore supermarket home delivery services for added convenience.


Staying Well in Cold Weather 

Regularly use hand sanitizers during cold and flu season to reduce the risk of catching bugs. Consider getting a free NHS flu jab at the beginning of winter for added protection. Consult a pharmacist or GP if you feel unwell to address potential health issues promptly.


Practical Things You Can Do to Help Keep the Cold at Bay 

  • Layering Clothing Wear multiple layers of cotton or wool instead of one thick garment. Layers help retain body heat more efficiently, keeping you warmer in the cold.
  • Nutrition and Warmth Maintain regular meals and consume hot drinks to help regulate body temperature. Cold weather often increases the need for warm nourishment.
  • Stay Active Avoid extended periods of inactivity. If moderate exercise is challenging, incorporate simple stretching exercises, as suggested by the NHS. Consider heated chair pads for added warmth during extended sitting.
  • Bedtime Comfort Ensure your bed is warm and cosy by adding extra duvets or blankets. A comfortable sleeping environment contributes to a restful night's sleep. Or you could have an electric blanket or hot water bottle in bed, ensuring a warm and comfortable sleeping environment. Exercise caution and use only one at a time for safety.
  • Warm Footwear Combat cold feet by wearing slippers, especially on bare floors.
  • Preventive Measures for Going Outside If venturing outside, dress warmly and include a hat to retain body heat. Use a scarf to warm the air you breathe, reducing the risk of respiratory issues.


How to Keep Your House Warm 

  • Curtain Strategies Open curtains during daylight hours to benefit from sunlight but draw them at dusk to retain warmth. Keep your bedroom windows closed to prevent drafts.
  • Draft-Proofing Address any drafts with rubber seals for doors, windows, and floor cracks. Consider using self-adhesive sausage dog draft excluders for an easy and effective solution.
  • Maintain a Minimum Temperature Ensure your home is heated to at least 18 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit) for comfort and well-being.
  • Heating System Check Schedule a professional plumber to inspect and maintain your heating system, ensuring optimal performance during the cold months.
  • Timed Heating Bursts Set your heating on a timer, even when if you go away briefly, to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Smart Thermostats Explore smart thermostat options for convenient mobile control, allowing you to adjust heating remotely.
  • Optimise Furniture Placement Move furniture away from radiators or fires to facilitate the free circulation of hot air.
  • Radiator Panels Consider enhancing heating efficiency with radiator panels that reflect heat into rooms instead of being absorbed by walls.


By following these comprehensive guidelines, you can proactively navigate the challenges of cold weather, ensuring both your health and home are well-protected throughout the winter months. Don’t forget that here at Rangeford Villages we are here to support you so please do get in touch with us if you have any questions or need additional support keeping warm.

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