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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.