How to look after yourself in the Big Freeze!

December 2017

Top tips on keeping warm this winter

Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Alexandra Sacker of Home Instead Senior Care in Enfield.

It has undoubtedly been one of the coldest nights last night – hitting -5 Degrees in some places. Everyone, from young to old, is obsessed with the weather and this was clearly the case last weekend when we all woke to a beautiful white blanket of snow in the morning! So what better time to talk about staying safe and warm than in the midst of the big freeze in the UK at he moment. We’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you stay warm throughout the winter months.

Boiler check-up. Don’t delay! No heating in the house will turn your surroundings into a fridge in no time -   the last thing you need in the middle of winter is a broken boiler, so get it checked.

Follow these tips to keep you and your family warm and well at home:

  • if you're not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C (65F) 
  • keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep the bedroom window closed
  • during the day you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer than 18C
  • draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts

Help with heating costs

You may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.



Layers, Layers and Layers Try wearing several thin layers of clothing, rather than one big jumper – the layers trap hot air keeping you warmer for longer. To keep heating bills down, consider wrapping up in a blanket or wearing more layers, rather than turning up the thermostat.

Toastie Feed. There’s nothing worse than cold feet! To keep yourself warm this winter, wear thermal or thick socks and sensible shoes if you’re venturing out. Wear boots with a thick lining and consider buying specially designed shoes, in case things turn to ice!

And last but not least, bleed your radiators. Trapped air in your radiators can prevent hot water from circulating effectively, which could be the reason your home isn’t as warm as it has been previously. Bleeding your radiators releases the trapped air and allows your central heating to work once again, keeping you and your property warm.

Look in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives

Check up on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or respiratory (breathing) problems, to make sure:

  • they're safe and well
  • are warm enough, especially at night
  • have stocks of food and medicines so they don't need to go out during very cold weather


To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at or by post to Home Instead Senior Care, 26-28 Queensway, Enfield EN3 4SA. Alternatively, you can also call me on 0203 6024058.

Alexandra Sacker

CAREGiver arriving at client's home
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home