Richmond Council's Winter Warmth scheme offers support for local people
Many people don’t realise that living in a cold home, particularly if you already have heart disease or breathing difficulties, can cause serious health problems.
If you live in Richmond, are over the age of 65, or have a long term health condition (such as asthma or diabetes), you can benefit from a free Winter Warmth home visit - where a Home Visitor from the London Borough of Richmond will assess what can be done to make your home snug and cosy, and to help you to stay healthy and well.
These visits are available from September 2015 until March 2016. During the visit, a Home Visitor will either help you to take action immediately or make referrals to help with the following:
- Grants for heating, insulation and boiler repairs*
- Free radiator reflector panels and draught proofing to keep heat in your home**
- Advice on free walks and other exercise opportunities in the borough
- Free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms if required
- Free specialist advice on lowering your heating bills whilst keeping warm
- Benefits check
*For people who receive certain benefits **Subject to survey
Some of the things that you can do to keep snug, warm and well this winter include:
- Don’t let the cold catch you out – sign up to AirText for free text message and voice mail alerts on the weather: www.airtext.info
- Hot meals will keep you snug and warm so make sure you have food in the house. Tinned, dried and frozen foods are great as they will stay fresh.
- Make sure you have enough of your prescription medicines. If the weather turns bad you may not be able to collect or have your medicines delivered, check the forecasts and make sure you have enough in stock.
- Make sure you can check the temperature in your sitting room and bedroom. If possible have a simple thermometer so that you can keep your sitting room at 21 and bedroom at 18 degrees.
- Have plenty of hot drinks like tea, coffee or hot water as this will help to keep you warm. Just boil the amount of water you need each time and this will save you money too!
- The flu is much more serious than a cold; it can lead to a hospital stay. Keep yourself safe and make sure you have your flu jab. People over 65 or people with existing medical conditions, get this for free so make sure you get yours from the GP.
- Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than 1 thick layer; this will trap the heat better to keep you warm. Socks and hats are great too and are a good idea to keep you warm in bed.
- Keep moving if you can, this will help keep you warm. Try not to sit for more than 1 hour – get up and walk around, make a hot drink and spread housework throughout the day. If walking is a problem try moving your arms and legs whilst sitting or wiggling your fingers and toes.
Winter Warmth: How to book a home visit
For more information or to book your free visit - please contact the Home Visitors on 0800 118 2327 or 0845 600 1090.