Keep well this autumn
Keep warm, stay well, stay connected and be prepared this autumn
Although most people in North Lincolnshire manage the season well, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for adverse weather, the challenges the season can bring and look out for yourself, your family, friends and those around you.
We have provided some simple information and practical steps you can take to prepare yourself and stay well this autumn.
- You should heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable for you. In rooms you mostly use such as the living room or bedroom, try to heat them to at least 18°C if you can, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. You should also keep your bedroom windows closed at night. Exposure to low indoor temperatures can have a serious impact on your health as you get older. Wearing several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.
- Be active: moving around and keeping active will help you to stay warm and fit. Whether you go for a walk, or take part in an activity, it’s good to keep moving. There are a wide range of activities to keep everyone active. Visit our Keeping Active webpage.
- Wrap up: the best way to keep warm is to wear layers of clothes. If you’re heading out make sure you wear extra layers.
- If you have a heating boiler consider getting it serviced before the cold weather arrives. If you can’t afford to heat your home visit Gov.uk for information on the warm home discount scheme or our Housing Standards page.
- Do you need help to upgrade the energy efficiency of your home? Help is available for families on low incomes. Visit the Housing standards, improvements, grants and loans page for more information and how to apply for a grant.
- Have a grab bag: it is a good idea to have basic items together in a ‘grab bag’ including medicines, water, torch, mobile phone, batteries or powerbank, copies of important documents and change of clothes. If you have to leave your home quickly or your power and water are disrupted, you can quickly grab the bag and go to safety.
Look out for yourself and others
Cooler weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term health condition.
If you are aware of a neighbour, friend, or relative who is over 65 or has a long-term condition, and may find it difficult to get out, check that they are warm, well and their medicine cabinet and food supplies are stocked up. Having some company may also reduce social isolation.
There is a range of support to protect you from becoming unwell or getting worse if you are already unwell. Pharmacists provide good health advice on a range of minor ailments and can give tips on keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
Avoiding a fall
During the autumn and winter months the risk of falling increases. It’s worth having a think about how you can reduce your risk. Follow this advice from Age UK about fall prevention and how you can make your home fall-proof.
Pharmacists can also give advice on flu jabs and information, for example, if you are entitled to a free NHS flu jab. They can also advise if a visit to your GP is needed. It is important to seek early advice from a pharmacist to help prevent your symptoms getting much worse or to prevent a hospital admission. Free NHS flu jabs are available to various eligible groups and you can find more information on flu jabs by visiting the NHS website for further details.
Get the jab/boost your immune system
The Covid-19 autumn booster programme is now being delivered.
Those eligible include all those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with an underlying health condition.
The NHS is here to help you and the NHS 111 service is a free number to call or access NHS 111 on-line when you have an urgent healthcare need. It directs you to the right local service. It is available across the whole of England making it easier for you to access urgent healthcare services when you need medical help. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
For more information on how to stay well this winter visit the nhs.uk website.
Homeless/rough sleeping: If you are concerned for someone over 18 that is rough sleeping/homeless you can report this via the Streetlink website.
Group A Strep – what you need to know
Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a common bacteria. Lots of us carry it in our throats and on our skin and it doesn’t always result in illness. However, GAS does cause a number of infections, some mild and some more serious. Further information is available on the government website.
Further information and advice is available in the government’s Cold Weather plan.
There are some simple steps you can take to look after your mental health this winter by following five ways to wellbeing.
Support for children and families
We provide information, advice and guidance to families. If your family or a child/family that you know might be facing challenges visit our children and family support webpage for more information.
Support for adults
We provide information advice and guidance to support living independently, to get out and about and receive care and support. Visit the find local care and support for adults webpage.
Support for carers
If you help another person in their day to day life you are a carer. The Carers’ Support Centre based in Brigg offers information, advice, guidance and activities to carers, including young carers. Visit Carers’ Support Centre website for more information or call 01652 650585.
There is also information and advice for carers and young carers including how to apply for a carers’ assessment, personal assistants and benefits on the Caring for Someone webpage.
Support for the Armed Forces community
Whether you are serving member, a family member, or a veteran there is support available both locally and nationally. Visit our Armed Forces webpage for more information.
What is Live Well North Lincolnshire?
Live Well North Lincolnshire is a digital directory to help you to find a wide range of organisations, support groups, community groups, events and activities to support you to manage and improve your health and wellbeing and take positive steps to look after yourself.
The colder weather can bring higher costs for heating, food and clothing and other items that for some can add pressure to a tight budget.
There is some specific winter related support available:
Visit our Financial Support page for information on financial support that the council provides and external organisations.
Money saving tips
There are lots of ways you can reduce your energy in your household – every little change makes a difference.
The average home, containing four occupants, now uses 13 electronic appliances (including TVs and laptops). That’s a huge leap compared with 1990, when just four appliances were typically used, according to the Energy Consumption in the UK (ECUK) 2017 report.
Switch off stand-by
You can cave around £55 a year by turning your appliances off standby mode. Almost all electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. You may want to think about getting a standby saver or smart plug which allows to turn all your appliances off standby in one go. Some satellite and digital recorders may need to be left plugged in so they can keep track of any programmes you want to record.
Draught proof doors and windows
Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or through the chimney.
Using the microwave or a slow cooker is a cheaper alternative to using the oven. Cooking a baked potato in the oven costs 27p, compared to 3p with a microwave. Cooking a casserole in the oven costs 54p but only 22p in the slow cooker.
Turn your thermostat down
This is one of the easiest things to do on this list. For each degree you cut the thermostat, expect to cut bills by around four percent, or about £142 per year on an average typical home.
Turn off lights
Turn your lights off when you are not using them or when you leave a room. This will save you around £20 a year on your annual energy bills. Replacing all the lights in your home with LED bulbs could help you save even more.
Careful with washing machine
You can save around £28 a year from your energy bill just by using your washing machine more carefully. Use your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle instead of higher temperatures. Reduce your washing machine use by one run per week for a year.
Avoid the tumble dryer
Avoid using a tumble dryer for your clothes. Dry clothes on racks inside where possible or outside in warmer weather to save £60 a year.
Spend less time in the shower
Keeping your shower time to just four minutes cold save a typical household £70 a year on their energy bills.
Swap your bath for a shower
Swap one bath a week for a four-minute shower could save you £12 a year on your electricity bill.
Don’t overfill the kettle
Avoid overfilling the kettle and save £11 per year on your electricity bill.
Fill your dishwasher
Only run your dishwasher when it is full to reduce the amount of water you use. Doing one less run a week could save you £14.
Top up the insulation
Effective insulation of your hot water cylinder could save you £35 a year in the process. Insulating your water tank, pipes and radiators is a quick and easy way to save money.
Use eco mode on appliances
Many appliances have modes which make them operate at different speeds, temperatures and levels of power. For most appliances ‘eco’ mode means operating at a lower speed, which is marketed as being more environmentally friendly and cost saving.
Prepare your home
- Have your heating and cooking appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they are working safely.
- Contact your water and power suppliers to see if you can be on the Priority Services Register, a free support service that helps people in vulnerable situations. Further information is available at Ageuk.org.uk/winterprep or call 0800 169 6565 and quote ‘Winter’.
- If you are informed there is a risk of flooding it’s useful to have a personal flood plan. How to make a personal flood plan can be viewed on GOV.UK.
For more information visit the Flooding and other emergencies webpage.
Check your vehicle
The RAC recommends six tips to keep you moving. Drivers should remember their ‘FORCES’:
- Fuel – Don’t risk running out of fuel – top up before you set off on a long journey
- Oil – check it’s at the right level to reduce the chances of overheating in traffic
- Rubber – tyres need to be properly inflated and in good condition to give your car a safe, sure grip on the road. Your windscreen wipers also have to work extra hard in cold and wet conditions
- Coolant – this does a vital job in ensuring the engine runs at the right temperature. If it’s not between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ levels, this could be the sign of a problem so contact a good garage without delay
- Electrics – you’ll need your lights on during any heavy downpours and of course during the shorter days – so check they are all working. The electrics also control your indicators and windows, so check there are no problems
- Screenwash – helps keep your windscreen clear.
Further information is available on the RAC website.
Autumn and winter driving
Once you have checked your car using the above guidelines, visit our Winter Service and Gritting webpage for driving tips and details of our gritting routes.
Bodies of frozen water might look like a tempting place to play or walk onto, but you may be putting yourself and others at risk.
- Stay clear of waterways.
- Don’t let children play on the ice.
- Keep your pet on a lead.
- In the event of an emergency, please call 999.
Find more safety advice on the Humberside Fire and Rescue website.
Make your home more secure by following some basic advice:
- Lock all doors and windows, and ensure any PVC doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them
- Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.
- Consider installing a door bell camera, internal camera and burglar alarm
- Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV.
- Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed.
- Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor windows
- Ensure your vehicle is locked and remove all valuables as burglars often check to see if doors are left unlocked
For further information on keeping yourself and others safe visit the Police.UK Crime Prevention website.