Coping with Cold, Wintry Weather

With North Yorkshire having a yellow alert weather warning for the next few days, we only have to look outside our windows to see how blustery and wet it is.  The current forecast is for storms and disruption to power lines and travel.  Older people are more vulnerable in times of high winds and severe adverse weather.  Parts of the North are to expect snow over the weekend and into next week.

At times like this, people may worry about using more heating because of the rising costs of fuel, and attempts may be made to block up air vents and door cracks to prevent drafts.  It is important to stay warm and to avoid going out in gale force winds if you can, but we also need to bear in mind that your safety is also important within the house.  Are you using a gas fire? Or an electric fire?  Do you have a carbon monoxide alarm?  Or a fire alarm?  Is your boiler on the blink?  Why not take advantage of some of the help on offer at the moment to secure a safe, warm home for this time of the year?  

  1. Age UK have published good tips about staying warm this winter.  Check out their website for further guidance

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/spread-the-warmth/keeping-warm-eating-well-winter/

They also have tips about help with winter heating costs and how to keep your costs low whilst keeping warm.  There are useful hand-outs to download:

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/spread-the-warmth/help-with-winter-heating-costs/

  1. Carers’ Resource in the Bradford, Airedale and Craven district have guidance on staying warm this winter.  They provide services and guidance on ‘fuel debt support’, ‘home energy efficiency’, ‘practical support’ and ‘home fire safety checks’.  Check out their website:

http://www.first4contact.org/

You will need to be referred for some services, so you could get your GP or District Nurse to do this.

  1. If you are having boiler problems you may be entitled to a new boiler, free of charge, including free fitting. To qualify you may need to be in receipt of certain benefits (eg, Pension Credit) and living in a private property.   Further information about this can be obtained from

http://www.affordablewarmthscheme.co.uk/

You might also qualify for free insulation too.

  1. Be careful about people ringing you or turning up at your door to ‘sell you a new boiler or other heating systems’, or postal deals that seem too good to be true.  Home Instead is working closely with THINK JESSICA, which is a charity that aims to raise awareness about fraudulent scams and cons.  Take time to check out the reputation of any company you work with to ensure they are legitimate.   We will be educating our CAREGivers over the next couple of months on the common types of scams there are, how to recognise them, and what to do to protect older people against fraud.  In the meantime, if you are not sure about a company or trader please check out the THINK JESSICA website for more information:

http://www.thinkjessica.com/