Bob’s Blog Part 9 – Appears first in the Congleton Chronicle Bob's Blog Senior Forum

Well Winter is here good and proper! Old folk used to say they knew it was Winter when their chilblains started to play up!  I can remember when our windows were frozen up on the inside and the kids would draw pictures in the frost! ( That’s only 50 years ago)   Before we got central , we would all want to be in the room where the fire was, and then make a dash for bed – mounds of real wool blankets and feather eiderdowns – only the end of your nose felt the cold!!  It’s funny (funny peculiar that is not funny Ha Ha!) how for some of us, it’s back to keeping the one room warm because fuel really is NOT cheap!

But if you are older, and particularly if you aren’t very mobile any more, it’s real important to keep warm.   Easier said than done you might be saying.   But there is some good advice out there and also some practical help when you know where to find it.  Read on……..

If you can’t afford to heat the whole house, keep your living room warm – that means 21C and your bedroom at 18C.  And make sure you know how your heating controls work – if you’re not sure, get a friend or neighbour to suss it out and explain it to you over a cuppa.

Don’t just wear your biggest chunkiest jumper, it’s best to wear several layers of clothes – it traps the heat better and keeps you warmer.

Get cosy under a blanket or shawl if you’re just sitting and not moving around. Try to put your feet up too! The air is colder near the floor.

Try to have at least one good hot meal every day.

If you can, get up and move around, a few laps around the house will get the blood moving!

Now, If the worst happens and your heating breaks down and you just don’t know what you are going to do next, it’s really worth knowing about the Care and Repair Team at Cheshire East Council.  For example, throughout Winter they have heaters available for short term loans if your heating breaks down, or if you just can’t get your house warm enough.  If you own your own home and need urgent help with heating repairs but can’t afford it, Care & Repair can sometimes help with that too– it’s well worth asking- they have access to fast-track funds to help to put the problem right quickly, and can help you to look for a longer term solution. Help is available for low income households and people with certain health conditions –  a grant of up to £1,000.  You can contact the Care and Repair Team on 0300 123 5017 (select option 3).

One thing I know I need to do is to get my son-in-law to rid out my loft!  It’s mostly junk up there but it’s stopping me getting my insulation sorted.   I know there’s only a thin layer of fibre- glass up there – put it down myself many moons ago – togged up like a mountaineer with just my eyes showing as  I’m so allergic to the fibre glass stuff!   The ‘Energy Saving Advice Service (0300 123 1234) can tell me where I can get low cost or even no cost deals to upgrade my insulation.

And don’t miss out on your Winter Fuel payment .  If you were born on or before 5 July 1952 you should receive a payment automatically. To find out more, contact 0845 915 1515 or go to the website Gov.UK

So lastly, and I feel passionate about this, it shouldn’t have to be a choice for older people to ‘Eat or Heat’.   I bet there are thousands of Cheshire East residents  missing out on extra financial support that they’re entitled to. Make sure you are getting what you should be getting –  and keep well and warm this Winter .  Here’s a few places that can help :

So keep warm, keep well, and keep clogging on!

Bob Bear signing out till next week……..