Welsh charity provides cold weather advice for older people

Welsh charity provides cold weather advice for older people

“Keep well, keep warm and keep safe this winter”

Age Cymru is providing cold weather advice to older people across Wales to keep them fit and healthy during the winter months.

The older peoples charity’s ‘Keep Well this Winter’ campaign recommends eating warm meals, keep active wearing lots of layers and using heating effectively to stay healthy.

Angharad Phillips, ‘Keep Well this Winter’ Coordinator says;

“Keeping yourself fit and healthy is important all year round, but your lifestyle can make even more of a difference when it comes to keeping well in winter.

“Getting colds and the flu can prove to be really debilitating for some people, so it is very important to stay warm and healthy.

“If you eat at least one warm meal a day, wear warm clothing when going out and check the weather forecast before leaving home, it can help maintain a healthy lifestyle during winter.

“By following our cold weather advice, you can ensure that you keep well, keep warm and keep safe this winter.”

Dr Ruth Hussey, Chief Medical Officer for Wales says:

“Each winter cold temperatures contribute to poor health.

“To stay healthy, I urge everyone to be active and keep warm. It is also important to look out for older relatives, friends and neighbours during the winter.

“Getting a flu jab is one of the simplest and most effective ways of protecting our health during the winter, especially for those with chronic conditions and long term illnesses.”

Age Cymru’s ‘Keep Well this Winter’ campaign is a Welsh Government initiative, providing information and advice to help older people to maintain good health throughout the winter months.

For more information about ‘Keep Well this Winter’ please visit www.agecymru.org.uk/kwtw or call Angharad Phillips on 029 2043 1555.

The older people’s charity is recommending all older people to look after their health and wellbeing during winter by following simple steps.

Cold Weather advice

    • Eat at least one warm meal a day and drink plenty of warm drinks.
    • Keep as active as possible.
    • Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast.
    • Keep basic and non-perishable food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping – rice, pasta, tinned foods. Keep a pint of milk and a loaf in your freezer.
    • Several thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer, as the layers trap warm air. Clothes made from wool, cotton and fleecy synthetic fibres are a good choice. Start with thermal underwear, warm tights or socks.
    • You should always wear gloves and a hat and wrap a scarf around your face when you go out in cold weather, even for short intervals.
    • If you are sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide a lot of warmth. Try to keep your feet up, as the air is cooler at ground level.
    • Wear warm clothes in bed. When very cold, wear thermal underwear, bed socks and even a hat – a lot of heat is lost through your head.
    • Use a hot water bottle or an electric blanket to warm the bed, but never use the two together as this is very dangerous.
    • Choose well-fitting boots with non-slip soles and a warm lining that support your feet and ankle and wear thermal socks. These keep you safe if the ground is slippery and keep your feet warm.
    • Keep steps and paths free of ice. Sprinkle them with a mixture of salt and sand if the ground is icy – some councils provide sacks of salt and sand free of charge if you or someone else can go to pick them up.
    • Check local news and weather forecasts for advice when bad weather is forecast.


  • The recommended temperature for your main living room is around 21°C (70°F), and the rest of the house should be heated to at least 18°C (65°F). You can get a free thermometer to help you make sure your home is warm enough from your local Age Cymru. Keep your bedroom window closed at night as you are at risk of a heart attack or a stroke or even hypothermia if you’re exposed to a cold environment for a long time, or to extreme cold for only a short time.
  • Get to know how the timer and thermostat on your heating system work. If it’s very cold, set the timer to switch the heating on earlier, rather than turning the thermostat up to warm your house quickly, or keep the heating on constantly.
  • Close the curtains at dusk and fit thermal linings if you can. This will keep the heat in.
  • Put guards on open fires, and be careful not to hang washing too close to the fire.
  • Make sure you keep some tins of pudding, soup, beans etc and some powdered milk in your food cupboard. If you haven’t got any then ask a neighbour who is going shopping but don’t risk falling on the ice yourself.
  • If you do stay in bed a little longer to keep warm be careful when you get up. Get up slowly and sit on the edge of the bed for a while just in case you experience some giddiness. Taking this action could prevent a fall.
  • Make sure you do not go from a hot room to a cold one. Switch the heating on an hour before you need it in the room you are entering and switch off the heat in the room you are leaving an hour before you go – no extra heating costs and no cold rooms.
  • Keep safe – Clear pathways from snow and ice, or help an older neighbour to do so and wear safe and sturdy footwear if you do have to go out in poor weather.