Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term condition, live alone, or live with a disability or mental health condition.
Here are some tips to help you stay warm:
- If you are going outside, make sure you dress appropriately and wear lots of layers and sensible footwear.
- Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and hot drinks regularly throughout the day.
- Heat your home to at least 18C (65F). You might prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer.
- Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights – breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
- Get financial support. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy-efficient, improve your heating or help with bills
Are you a home oxygen user? Find out what support is available
Due to the increase of energy prices the NHS is increasing the rate at which electricity refunds are paid for those reliant on home oxygen. From Saturday 1 October 2022 the rate has increased to 0.34ppkwh, which should cover the additional costs of running a concentrator. It is very important that people continue to use their concentrator, as advised by their health care professional.
For those who have a static or transportable concentrator, please contact your electricity provider to explain that you are a patient on home oxygen and require electricity for your medical equipment to operate. Your electricity provider may be able to place you on a Priority Services Register and offer additional help and support.
This is the link for Western Power Priority Services Register who look after the safe delivery of electricity through the electricity network in South Wales and the South West: National Grid – Priority services. You can also find further advice and guidance on the Ofgem register here: Get help from your supplier – Priority Services Register | Ofgem
More advice and guidance on helping to stay warm can be found below.
Support and Help in Somerset
Somerset residents who are interested in energy efficiency and saving money on their energy bills can get free advice from the Home Energy Team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol.
Support is also available to Somerset residents who are struggling to keep their homes warm, finding it difficult to keep on top of their bills or need advice on grants for home improvements. Phone free on 0800 082 2234.
For more information on how to reduce your bills and make your home more energy efficient, go to the government’s Simple Energy Advice website, or call the Simple Energy Advice helpline on 0800 444 202.
You can also find out about heating and housing benefits on GOV.UK.