Cold Weather Advice – Keeping Well at Home

January 15, 2024

As the weather is due to get colder, with some areas reaching freezing temperatures over the course of the next week, we thought we’d share some further information on how you or a loved one can stay safe and warm.

Older adults, those who are more vulnerable, and those living with a medical condition have a higher chance of being affected by the cold weather.

As we get older, it becomes harder for our body to regulate its temperature, meaning we can be more affected by sudden increases and decreases in weather conditions and outdoor temperatures.

Decreases in temperatures can also cause more slips, trips and falls from frozen or slippery ground resulting in more injuries, especially for those with mobility issues.

With this in mind, we want to help prevent unsafe exposure to the cold of the outdoors and help your loved one stay well and safe throughout the course of the cold snap we will be having.

Caring for those with a Medical Condition in the cold weather

Those living with specialist medical conditions are particularly vulnerable during cold weather:

  • Diabetes can prevent blood from flowing normally which normally provides warmth
  • Those with Thyroid problems can be affected by the body’s inability to maintain a normal body temperature
  • Parkinson’s disease and Arthritis can make it challenging to do everyday tasks in cold weather, such as putting on additional clothes or getting out blankets
  • For those living with a form of Dementia or loss of memory, cold weather can be increasingly dangerous if the individual forgets to take precautions for staying safe
  • Certain medications can also affect an individual’s body heat

 Other conditions to look out for:


Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature below 35 degrees C (normal body temperature is around 37 degrees C).  It is often caused by exposure to cold temperatures which can lead to serious health problems.

Symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • shivering
  • pale, cold and dry skin – skin and lips may turn blue or grey (on black or brown skin this may be easier to see on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet)
  • slurred speech
  • slow breathing
  • tiredness or confusion

You can find out more information about Hypothermia here: Hypothermia – NHS (


Frostbite is damage to the skin and tissue, caused by exposure to freezing temperatures. It can affect various parts of the body including most commonly hands, feet, ears, nose and lips.

Frostbite can lead to loss of feeling and colour in the affected area, and symptoms include redness and pain.

If a loved one is showing symptoms of these conditions it is advisable to call the emergency services on 999. Try and move the person to a warmer place, with plenty of warm blankets and a hot drink.

Keeping well at home – staying warm indoors

Here are our top tips to keeping a loved one safe, well and warm from the comfort of their home

  • Check the heating thermostat and ensure it is set to an ambient, comfortable, constant temperature
  • If the heating has a timer function, you could also set the heating to boost during the morning and evening for a boost of warmth
  • For added warmth, ensure that extra blankets are easily accessible for your loved one, so they don’t have to go reaching in high places or in awkward cupboards. If using electric heaters, be sure to check any instructions so they are used safely! If you’re unsure please ask your Care Specialist for assistance
  • Try placing rolled towels across the gaps at the foot of doors to keep out draughts, and keep warmth in
  • Keep blinds or curtains closed to stop warm air from escaping
  • Encourage wearing layers – these can always be added to for extra warmth or removed if too hot. It’s better to be well prepared and have extra layers just in case
  • Make sure the cupboards and fridge are well stocked with hearty comfort food. Eating enough is so important to maintaining a healthy body weight and staying warm
  • Keep moving, if possible. Moving the body can help to increase body temperature and stop muscles and joints from stiffening up


Preventing falls outdoors in cold weather

If going outdoors during cold spells, be sure to think about safety to help prevent slips and falls

  • Ask someone to help clear the paths and walkways outside your home, especially during periods of snow or ice
  • Wear non-slip, rubber-soled shoes for extra grip
  • Wear lots of layers – you can always remove layers if you are too warm
  • If possible always be accompanied by a Care Specialist, friend or family member when going outdoors, so you have some support if needed
  • Let a loved one know where you are or where you are going so they can be sure to check on you
  • Plan ahead – your Care Specialist can help you to plan your week, and assist you with your food shops or any other errands you may need to run, making sure to avoid dangerous weather conditions

If you are concerned about the safety of a loved one during adverse weather, or are worried about the risk of social isolation, please get in touch with us.

Our Care Specialists are expertly trained to deal with challenging scenarios, putting your loved ones safety as a paramount priority.

We matched each of our Care Specialists to our clients, based on preferences, personality, needs and wishes.

If you would like to enquire about the support Bridgewater Home Care can provide, please get in touch with your local office here: