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Farron gives his top tips for beating the cold this winter

January 5, 2010 12:00 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has teamed up with Age Concern South Lakeland to draw up six top tips to ensure older people remain well and warm this winter.

Winter and the cold weather it brings are a source of worry to many older people, with many suffering from the treacherous conditions of local pavements caused by the recent cold snap. Mr Farron is urging all older people to follow some simple suggestions to ensure they stay healthy, safe and as comfortable as possible.

Top tips to staying warm and well this winter include eating well and keeping warm with plenty of hot drinks, staying active, getting a flu jab, shopping around for the best energy rate, claiming your benefits to help with energy bills, and making sure your house is energy efficient.

Commenting Sonia Mangan, Director of Age Concern South Lakeland said:

"With temperatures continuing to drop below zero throughout the district we are urging vulnerable older people, who are more susceptible to the cold, to take extra precautions to stay warm and keep active.

"For older people, protection against the cold is vital and our Age Concern team working with our local MP have reproduced their top tips for staying warm and well this winter."

"With around 2.5 million older households living in fuel poverty across England, many pensioners will be struggling with high energy bills this winter. At this time of year, it is vital for them to check they are claiming all their entitlements. Up to 1.8 million eligible pensioners not currently claiming Pension Credit would miss out on these payments. "

"Anyone who is cutting back on basics such as food and heating because they're concerned about high energy bills should call our helpline on 01539 728180.

Mr Farron added:

"During the winter months, it's vital that older people take the necessary precautions to ensure they remain well and warm this winter.

"To help stay healthy, it's important to keep warm at home and when you go out, follow as healthy a lifestyle as possible and have a flu jab.

"Most of us spend a lot of time indoors in winter. Heating your home is easier and cheaper if it is well-insulated and your central heating works properly."

Tim and Age Concern's Top Tips

A payment of £25 is made to people receiving certain benefits including Pension Credit when the average temperature at a specified weather station has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0° Celsius or below over seven consecutive days. The payments are made automatically.

Top tips to stay warm and well this winter

Claim your benefits - Millions of pensioners are missing out on their share of up to £5 billion in unclaimed benefits. If you are eligible this could make a huge difference to your weekly income and go some way towards meeting your energy bills.

Eat well and keep warm - Hot meals and drinks provide warmth and energy. Try to eat one nutritious hot meal every day and have a hot drink before bedtime. Wear several layers of clothes to keep warm and wrap up well when you go outside.

Stay active - Regular exercise generates heat and helps you to keep warm. It can be as simple as doing household chores or a stroll to the local shops.

Get a flu jab - If you're over 65 or have a long-term health condition, you're more vulnerable to the effects of flu. There are different strains of the virus each winter - make sure you are protected by getting a free flu jab from your GP every year.

Shop around - Shopping around for the best energy rate could make you a considerable saving. If you are on a low income you may also be eligible for a discounted social tariff. Contact your energy supplier and check if you are eligible for a discounted tariff.

Get energy efficient - Improving your insulation, central heating, double glazing or draught-proofing could help keep your house warm and cut your bills. If you receive benefits you may be able to get a Warm Front grant to help pay for heating improvements, and your energy supplier may offer energy efficiency products like insulation free of charge.