Checking Reading’s temperature…

A thermostat

Age UK is distributing free room thermometers to older people in Reading this winter

Shockingly, Reading had the highest rate of excess winter deaths amongst those aged 65 and over between 2007 and 2010 – that’s equivalent to an average of 109 deaths per year.

With this in mind, Age UK is running a thermometer pilot project across Reading from December 2013 until the end of March 2014. We are enlisting the help of Gas Safety Engineers and health professionals (occupational therapists and intermediate care workers) who frequently visit older people in their own homes.

They are offering two free room thermometers to older people, along with advice on what to do to stay warm and well at home this winter. The aim of the pilot is to help raise awareness of the negative impact that the cold has on older people’s health and help make a positive difference to the 17,900 older people (aged 65 and over) who live in Reading.

Through the thermometer pilot, we are highlighting simple steps that older people can do to protect their health this winter:

•           Keep your living room temperature at 70⁰F (21⁰C)

•           Keep your bedroom at 64⁰F (18⁰C)

•           Keep your bedroom window closed at night when the weather is cold

These temperatures are based on the World Health Organisation’s recommended temperatures.

As we get older, it gets harder for our bodies to detect how cold we are. This is because we become less efficient at responding to and recovering from exposure to the cold. It’s really important to stay warm to reduce our risk of heart attacks, strokes and respiratory problems. When we are cold our blood thickens and our blood pressure rises.

There will also be a month of general awareness-raising in Reading in February 2014. This will come in the form of posters at bus shelters around the city and an advert on Reading 107FM, with a number older people, their families or carers can phone to obtain two free room thermometers.

For more information, or if you know of any professionals who might be interested in taking part in the project, please contact Alice Woudhuysen on 020 3033 0516 or email

If you live in Reading and would like to obtain two free room thermometers, phone Age UK Advice on 0800 587 06 68.

If you don’t live in Reading but would like to order a Winter Wrapped Up guide containing a free room thermometer, phone Age UK Advice on 0800 587 06 68.

Author: Age UK

Age UK is dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. In the UK we help more than 7 million older people each year by providing advice, combating loneliness and enabling independence. Locally, we work as part of a network of independent charities which includes Age UK, Age Cymru, Age NI and Age Scotland and over 150 local Age UK partners in England and Wales.

6 thoughts on “Checking Reading’s temperature…”

  1. Distributing thermometers to people 65 and over !!!!! So Age UK admit people over 65 are vulnerable, so how can they be happy that the state pension age will be 66, why can’t they fight for the 500,000 women robbed and discriminated against, some of whom may never reach 65/66 and have AGE UK care about them? These women are approaching 60/61 now, surely they deserve help now.

  2. Whilst I applaud Age UK for supporting this initiative I, and thousands of others, still cannot comprehend why Age UK has abandoned those 700,000 women born on or after 6th April 1951 who lost out not once, but twice, in the changes to the State Pension Law.

    They literally had their State Pension, their entitlement, snatched from under their noses in what is basically legalised theft.

    Those of us who are still actively campaigning against the changes for the discriminatory law to be reversed have made numerous requests to Age UK to at least raise an awareness of the campaign. It will not cost them a penny. These requests have been ignored.

    This lack of support certainly goes against what Age UK profess to stand for.

  3. what planet are you on Age uk – you say people age 65 plus are in danger from the cold …but you accept that the government can raise retirement age to 65..66..67…68 and more – you really should not contradict yourself – you are either too old at 65 or your not – make up your mind

  4. Thank you for your comments. We do realise that the increases to women’s state pension age introduced by the 2011 Pensions Act continue to be a major concern to many of the women affected and that it is particularly hard for those who have health problems or caring responsibilities and are simply not able to work longer. That is why we campaigned so hard to try to delay the changes when these were being debated in Parliament in 2011. As you will be aware the Government did agree to delay the changes for 6 months following the pressure from individuals and organisations including Age UK but it was very disappointing that we could not achieve more.

    We continue to raise concerns about the impact of increasing state pension age, for example through comments to the media and in meetings with politicians. However, we do not believe that at present a specific campaign on state pension age would succeed in reversing the 2011 changes (or the increase in women’s state pension age from 60 introduced by the earlier 1995 Pensions Act). Age UK can only engage in a limited number of campaigns at once and considers extremely carefully which are likely to effect the best change for the most older people. Unfortunately this also means we also cannot endorse individual campaigns. Sorry to not be able to be of more help to you.

    1. Very disappointing that Age UK won’t support us this time, these women are being discriminated against once more just for having the misfortune to be born in the 1950s. My own sister born 1954 has worked from 15 years of age apart from a few years caring for her ill and disabled husband, she was widowed at 49, missed out on widows pension by 2 years, received a pittance to live on so had to go out to work immediately after being bereaved, missed out on being treated financially more leniently when she started working again as over 50s were at the time, now hit again by a second rushed through unfair pension age rise. How much more are women her age supposed to bear while other age groups are being supported and their rights fought for! Where do the contributions from widows late husbands go? Into the governments pocket no doubt!

  5. We should learn how to care of our beloved parents since they dedicated themselves for us. We may be able to understand the very essence when we become parents ourselves. That’s why we shouldn’t take them for granted; we must take good care of them and share our love so that they would feel it.

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