Figures show in Nottinghamshire in 2014/15, there were 810 more deaths from December to March than would be expected if death rates were the same in winter and non-winter months.
Cold homes are a factor in this and can have a negative impact on people’s health by increasing the chances of causing or worsening conditions such as heart attacks, stroke and pneumonia.
People can help to avoid these ‘excess winter deaths’ by keeping their home warm, and making sure vulnerable or elderly friends and neighbours are doing the same.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s advice on keeping warm this winter includes useful information on what residents are entitled to, contacts for more help and advice, and a handy thermometer to help people keep track of how warm their home is.
Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, health and wellbeing chairman said: “It’s really important to look after your health and stay warm during winter. There are simple things that we can all do though to keep our homes warmer, like ensuring our heating is working efficiently, or making sure we have hot meals and drinks.
“It’s also very important that we look out for the vulnerable people in our communities, especially when a cold snap hits, checking that elderly neighbours or friends are warm and have enough food can make a huge difference.”
Top tips for staying warm include -
• Use a room thermometer to try and keep your main living room between around 18C to 21C, and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C
• Get heating, radiators and boilers serviced to keep them efficient
• Eat at least one warm meal a day and have warm drinks
• Stay warm in bed with socks, thermal underwear and a hat
• Set the heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed
• Try to be active during the day, get out and about or move around in your home
• Make sure you take advantage of any payments you are entitled to such as cold weather, or winter fuel payments
• Anyone aged over 65 or with certain long term conditions is eligible for a free flu jab
For more advice see www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/care/health-and-wellbeing/keeping-warm-in-winter