Stay Safe This Winter

Facing the extra challenges of this year’s winter: Advice for older people to keep safe, warm and well

Winter can be a challenging for older people at the best of times with the onset of cold, dark winter months. However, this year the challenges could be even greater as many older people struggle to cope with the effects of recent lockdowns, outbreaks of Covid 19 that are still happening in communities across Wales, concerns over seasonal flu, and rises in food and fuel costs.

This is why the three national charities of Age Connects Wales, Age Cymru, and Care and Repair Cymru have come together to provide advice and support to help older people keep safe, warm and well this winter.

One of the biggest dangers facing older people is falls. More than 700 older people in Wales will die from a fall this year. The partnership provides advice on helping to prevent falls such as exercises and activities to maintain bone and muscle strength, keeping homes free of trip hazards, installing adaptations such as handrails and ensuring that issues such as medication, sight loss and foot health are not causing falls.

The partnership also offers advice on keeping homes warm and free from draught and damp. It also provides advice on claiming all the available entitlements and benefits, so people are not fretting about paying their fuel bills.

Loneliness can be debilitating for many older people, so the partnership provides advice on how to keep connected to communities through social activities and how to use online technologies safely to keep in touch with friends, families and vital services. It also advises on how to stay healthy through exercise and good diet throughout the winter months. Preparing for winter can go a long way towards helping people avoid a crisis.

For more information on keeping safe, warm and well this winter:

Age Connects Wales

Telephone 01639 617 333

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ageconnectswales.org.uk

 

Age Cymru

Telephone 029 2043 1555

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.agecymru.org.uk/spreadthewarmth

 

Care & Repair Cymru

Telephone 0300 111 3333 (local service)

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.careandrepair.org.uk 

 

Phyllis and David looking to the winter with renewed confidence

Phyllis lives in a semi-rural part of Wales with her husband David. Old age hasn’t been kind to the couple as both suffer from debilitating illnesses with David having to use a wheelchair. Money is tight for the couple and with recent rises in food and energy prices they were becoming stressed about how they would cope with winter.

Feeling desperate, a friend suggested they contact the local Care and Repair Cymru charity for some support and advice.  Within a week or so, the charity’s local Home Energy Officer, Wayne Hughes, visited the couple in their home to see how he could help.

Crucially, Wayne managed to obtain part funding to help the Collins’ purchase a brand new boiler that has made their home so much warmer.  He also helped secure the services of an accredited plumber to install the boiler.

Wayne looked closely at their gas bills and realised they were paying far too much for the amount they were using and managed to get a rebate and a new tariff from their gas supplier.

Wayne also gave them lots of simple but useful tips for saving energy around the home such as only boiling half a kettle of water for making one or two cups of tea and switching appliances off at the mains when they were not in use.

Phyllis says: “I now have peace of mind knowing that we can heat our home properly and help keep both myself and David well in the coming winter months.  I would recommend anyone who is worried about heating their home to contact their local Care and Repair Cymru to see what help and advice is out there.”

Free Downloads

Use the buttons below to access a free Winter Checklist and information sheets with lots of useful tips and ideas.

Information Sheets Winter Checklist