Tips on how to stay warm without breaking the bank this winter
- Credit: Age UK Norwich
Age UK Norwich offers older people (aged 50+) free and quality assured advice. It is a member of Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN), which is a proud partner of EDP’s “There With You This Winter Campaign”. We asked Jo Willingham, information and advice manager, to share guidance and tips on how you can stay warm and healthy this winter without breaking the bank.
What tips would help everyone to stay well and warm at home this winter?
It often surprises people to hear that the optimum temperature to stay well is 18 degrees in your bedroom and 21 degrees for the rest of your home. That’s certainly not full blast! When you are at home and sitting around quite a bit, keeping heating at that steady “ambient temperature” is important for your health, and it enables you to feel warm enough to keep moving.
It’s a myth that keeping your bedroom window open at night is a healthy move. Anything lower than 18 degrees can risk your health, especially if you have a heart condition, and it is likely to cost a lot more to reheat a freezing home the next day than to maintain a steady ambient temperature.
With the current high cost of energy and fuel, understandably lots of people are worrying about putting the heating on. Where can someone get help if they are struggling with those costs?
Start by asking us (or one of the other 100+ specialist, quality assured advice agencies in NCAN) to do a welfare benefits check.
Our advisor begins by exploring what money is coming in and going out on your bills and living expenses. It could be that you are entitled to claim other welfare benefits. Or that you are eligible to apply for other forms of financial help, such as grants from specialist agencies or charitable trusts.
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Having no money left after paying rent sometimes indicates other difficulties that we can help with, such as managing debts or budgeting. We can help you to be safe and help you to access legal support if someone is unlawfully preventing you from accessing your own money.
What else can we all be doing to stay warm and well?
Register and come along to our “Winter Well” sessions. These FREE events will take place over three Mondays in January (17th, 24th, 31st), from 10am to 12noon at Marion Day Care Centre, Marion Road.
Each week we’ll have experts on hand to give you advice, information and support on affording warmth, being active and healthy in the home, and staying connected online with friends and family safely.
Session 1 (Health & Nutrition) will focus on eating affordable meals and living healthily. Our Health@Home team will tell you about this one-to-one service to help you get back on track and regain fitness, stamina and confidence.
Session 2 (Staying Warm) will focus on energy advice and our own welfare benefits advisors will join the team of experts.
Session 3 (Digital Wellness) is all about staying safe whilst staying in touch with family and loved ones online. This advice session is for people quite new to going online, who aren’t aware of the increasingly unscrupulous scammers.
If you want to have home internet installed but cannot afford the equipment, come along to this session and ask about sources of grants for equipment, such as specialist software you might need for your disability.
Register to attend the Winter Well Sessions at ageuk.org.uk or call the number below.
To contact Age UK Norwich to speak with an adviser please call 01603 406333, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Age UK Norwich, Marion Road Day Care Centre, Marion Road, Norwich, NR1 4BN.
For other tips visit the national Age UK website and read the “Winter Wrapped Up” leaflet. Their other Top 10 tips are at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bp-assets/globalassets/norwich/original-blocks/our-services/winter-well/winter-well---top-ten-tips.pdf