15 December 2010
Islanders are being encouraged to be a good neighbour this winter by Jersey’s Ambulance Service.
Richard D’Ulivo Rogers, operations manager for the Ambulance Service, said “As a return of very cold weather conditions over the coming few days and weeks is predicted, we are urging residents to check in on elderly neighbours and those with serious health conditions to check they have what they need during the cold spell.
"The winter months can be quite an isolating time for the elderly, vulnerable and those suffering from serious health conditions such as diabetes and respiratory problems.
“If you have elderly neighbours, or know of someone who is ill or are particularly vulnerable during cold weather, check and see if they are warm enough and have adequate food, water and medication. We all have a role to play in remembering the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk especially at this time of year."
During the day
Set your thermostat at around 21ºC (70ºF) and heat all the rooms you use in the day. If you can’t heat all your rooms make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed.
Set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed in very cold weather, rather than turn the thermostat up. Set the heating to come on earlier so you won’t be cold while you wait for your home to heat up.
During the night
Try to keep a temperature of above 18°C (65°F) in your bedroom overnight. If you use a fire or heater in your bedroom during winter, open the window or door a little at night for ventilation.
An electric blanket or a hot water bottle will help you keep warm, but never use them together as you could electrocute yourself. If you have an electric blanket, check what type it is – some are designed only to warm the bed before you get in and should not to be used throughout the night. If you use an electric blanket, make sure it is safe to use by getting it tested every 3 years. Trading Standards, Age Concern and Fire and Rescue Service can test your electric blanket for safety.
Ambulance service advice
The Jersey Ambulance Service is urging people to remember to:
- heat your home well. By setting your heating to the right temperature (18–21°C or 64–70°F), you can keep your home warm and your bills as low as possible. Make sure your heating system is in good working order by getting it checked at least once a year. Ask your gas or electricity supplier about this as they may offer free checks for people aged over 60
- eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day
- get a flu jab. You can get a flu jab from your GP to protect against seasonal flu and it is most recommended if you are over 65, have a long-term health condition or are pregnant
- look after yourself and others. On cold days try to avoid going outside; however, if you do need to, remember to wrap up warm. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during winter to make sure that they are safe and well
- dress well. Wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside wear clothes made of wool, cotton, or fleecy synthetic fibres stay warm in bed with bed socks, thermal underwear and a nightcap or headscarf