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Getting ready for the cold weather – which can start as early as October – means that you’re more likely to keep warm and well over the approaching winter months.

Age UK have compiled a useful list of things you can do to stay safe and ward off those winter chills:

 

  • Get your heating system serviced every year to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently
  • Have your electric blanket serviced – this should be done at least every three years.
  • Make sure your smoke alarm is working. You can ask your local fire service to check your home for fire safety. It’s free and you may be eligible to get free smoke alarms fitted.
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in each room that has a gas appliance.
  • Ask your family or friends if they could call or visit you more often if there’s an extended period of cold weather.
  • Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather. Some councils provide free bags of the mix if you or someone else can pick them up. Otherwise you could try a local DIY store.
  • Consider fitting a grab rail if you have steps at your front or back door.
  • Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house. Your pharmacist can make suggestions and also advise you on how to manage minor illnesses.
  • Follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab.
  • Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast. Ask your local pharmacy if they offer a prescription pick-up and delivery service.
  • Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping. You could also do your food shopping online and get it delivered to your door.
  • Keep a radio and torch handy in case of a power cut. Also, keep your mobile phone, laptop or tablet fully charged, so you can use the battery power if there’s no electricity.
  • If you’re worried about walking your dog in icy weather, contact The Cinnamon Trust who can match you with a dog-walking volunteer in your area.

For further information on keeping safe and well this winter, click here