Cold snap health alert to the Isle

Community event.
Community event.

An alert has been issued to Isle folk in expectation of extreme cold weather.

Frances Cunning, Director of Public Health at North Lincolnshire Council asks everyone to watch out for the elderly and vulnerable in bitter and snowy weather, as the cold can be highly dangerous for them.

The Met Office has issued a Level 2 cold weather alert, which means the Yorkshire and Humber region is set to suffer low temperatures and possible snow and strong winds from today.

North Lincolnshire Council urges people to stay warm and keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.

Keeping warm is paramount as it can make pre-diagnosed health conditions worse or can increase the risk of a health problem.

It is important to heat homes to the right temperature – to at least 18 degrees centigrade in winter, as this poses minimal risk to the health. Anything below 16 degrees centigrade could lead to respiratory diseases, increase in blood pressure, risk of cardiovascular diseases, and hypothermia.

Frances Cunning said: “It is important to look out for the vulnerable as prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

“If you know anyone in these categories, call on them to see if they need any help, especially if they are house-bound. Exercise keeps us warm but many elderly people are unable to exercise, so they will feel the cold more. They may not be able to move around the house as easily due to mobility problems, and therefore rely on heating, so check that their heating is working properly and that they have enough warm clothing and blankets to keep them warm.”

For more details on winter health and support available to help keep you warm during winter, visit www.morthlincs/winterhealth.

To keep up-to-date with the latest weather, visit www.metoffice.gov.uk

Extra advice for winter is:

Try to keep your house warm. Keep your main living room at around 18-21 degrees Celsius. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep. You can also use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you’re in bed.

Eat well. Try to make sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can. Food is a vital source of energy that helps keep the body warm.

Wrap up warm, inside and out. Layer your clothing to stay warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.

Check on old neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather. If you’re worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.

You may also be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payments (WFPs). WFPs of up to £300 are available if you were born before July 5 1952. Find out more about WFPs, call: 08459 151515 (8.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday, textphone 0845 601 5613) or visit https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment

Cold Weather Payments may be available if you receive certain benefits or have a child who is disabled or under the age of five. Find out more contact JobCentre Plus or visit https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payments or Pension service on 0800 731 7898

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) has advice on how to reduce bills and make your home more energy efficient. They can also advise on grants and schemes available around the UK. Find out more on the EST website or call 0300 123 1234 (9am-8pm Mon-Fri and 10am-2pm Sat)

Local Initiatives for affordable warmth

Get advice: not everyone will identify themselves as being in fuel poverty, but many will be anxious about home energy and fuel bills. To obtain the best local advice contact the council or local Citizens Advice Bureau. In addition, national sources such as the Energy Saving Advice Centre and Home Heat Helpline can provide useful information on saving energy and fuel switching.

North Lincolnshire Council: 01724 297000

Homeheat Heat Helpline: 0800 33 66 99

Energy Saving Advice Service: 0300 123 1234

Citizens Advice Bureau: 01724 870941

Taking advantage of local and national insulation schemes is the most cost-effective way of lowering your bills and keeping your home warm. Contact North Lincolnshire Council to request an inquiry form to find out what schemes are available to assist homeowners and private rented tenants with heating and insulation. Extra assistance is also available from Energy suppliers for vulnerable, low-income households and those in receipt of eligible benefits.