Cold homes have a significant impact on people's health. One the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm.
Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
The chances of these problems are higher if you are vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because of one or more of the following:
Flu is a highly infectious illness that can spread rapidly. If you are at risk of complications from flu, you may be eligible for a free flu jab. Find out if you can get the flu jab for free on the NHS by contacting the surgery.
How to stay warm
The government's advice on getting ready for winter aims to reduce cold-related illness and deaths. Key tips include:
Cold weather benefits
You may also be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.
Winter Fuel Payments of up to £300 are available if you were born on or before July 5 1951.
To find out more about Winter Fuel Payments, call 0845 915 1151 (8.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday, textphone 0845 601 5613) or click here for details.
Cold Weather Payments may be available to you if you receive certain benefits or have a child who is disabled or under the age of five.
To find out more about Cold Weather Payments contact Jobcentre Plus (you can find the nearest office in the phonebook) or click here for details.
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 online from the EST website or call 0300 123 1234 (9am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday).
For more information on cold weather benefits and other help available read the 'Financial help to heat your home' section in the Keep Warm, Keep Well leaflet.
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