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Cold weather can affect your health. Find out how to keep yourself well and your home warm during winter.
Why is cold weather a problem?
Who is most at risk?
How to keep your home warm
Protect your health in the cold
Look in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives
When the temperature drops to below 8C, some people are at increased risk of:
Cold weather can also affect people with mental health conditions, such as depression](/condition/depression) and [dementia .
Very cold weather can affect anyone, but you are most vulnerable if:
The Met Office provides weather forecasts on radio and TV, so listen in to these bulletins regularly to keep up to date with the weather.
Severe weather warnings are also issued on the Met Office website, through the Met Office Twitter feed, or you can call the Weather Desk on 0370 900 0100 or 01392 885 680.
The Met office also has advice on getting ready for winter. This includes suggestions for practical things you can do to prepare for winter weather, including cold, ice and snow, high winds and flooding.
Follow these tips to keep you and your family warm and well at home:
You may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.
For more information on cold weather benefits and the other help available, read the Financial help to heat your home section in the Keep warm, keep well leaflet .
The Energy Saving Trust 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 Energy Saving Trust or call 0300 123 1234 (9am-8pm Monday to Friday).
It's worthwhile claiming all the benefits you are entitled to before winter sets in.
If you start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or cold, don't wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist.
Follow these tips on keeping well in the cold:
Check up on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or respiratory (breathing) problems, to make sure:
If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1174 (8am-7pm every day).
If you're concerned that the person may be suffering from hypothermia, contact emergency services.
Read these top tips for keeping warm and well (PDF, 1.15Mb).
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.