Help to keep your home warm this winter

Older home owners in Plymouth are being offered help to keep their homes warm this winter – but hurry, as it’s for a limited time only.

Every winter across the UK, one older person dies every seven minutes from the cold weather and in many cases this is avoidable. Plymouth City Council is offering assistance to home owners aged 60 and above to ensure their boilers are working efficiently, as part of the Warm at Home Programme.

In addition Age UK Plymouth is launching their ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guide for older people which contains a thermometer and provides tips on staying warm in winter.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Co-operatives and Housing for Plymouth City Council, said: “As the weather gets colder and winter sets in, it is essential that we help more vulnerable people to keep warm and well, and this includes their homes.

“If you are aged 60 or above, receive income-related benefits, or have a disability or long-term illness, you may be eligible for funding to draught proof your home, repair your boiler, or replace the boiler.

“You can also get help to improve the controls of your central heating system, relocate radiators, bleed radiators, and fix leaks, if the heating system is not performing well.

“We can also help seek quotations on behalf of customers using the Buy With Confidence list of trades people as approved by our own Trading Standards team.

“But funding is only available for a limited time until the end of March so make sure you get in touch sooner rather than later.”

As well as help to make your home warmer, Age UK has published a guide – ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ with advice on how to keep warm this winter. These include:

64°F (18°C) is the ideal temperature for your bedroom and 70°F (21°C) is the ideal temperature for your living room. Check your thermostat or use a room thermometer to monitor temperature.
Keep your bedroom window shut at night. Breathing in cold air can increase the risk if chest infections.
Stay active and when you are indoors try not to sit still for more than an hour, if you can get up. Walk around or make a hot drink.
Eat well. It’s important to eat well, especially in the winter. Have at least one hot meal a day and have regular hot drinks, as they help to keep you warm. Also stock up on basic food items in case of a cold snap.
Lynne Hodgson, Fundraising and Marketing Manager at Age UK Plymouth, said: “It’s horrendous that the cold weather claims the lives of so many older people every year, particularly when taking simple precautions ahead of the winter months can make such a difference. The good news is that while older people are more vulnerable to cold weather, many health problems and even deaths can be easily prevented – simple actions, such as using a room thermometer – which are available free from us – can literally save lives.

“For help or advice this winter call us on 01752 256020 or email enquiries@ageukplymouth.org.uk. We can provide information on local services and support networks and we have centres where older people can enjoy good company and a hot meal. We would also recommend that people find out more about the Warm at Home project to find out if they can benefit from the scheme.”

For more information on the Warm at Home Programme, call Plymouth City Council’s Housing Renewals Team on 01752 307303.

You can also download Age UK’s ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guide at www.spreadthewarmth.org.uk
You can also find out about the NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign, which includes advice on flu jabs, medicines, and information about local health services. www.plymouth.gov.uk/staywell