Advice for older people in cold weather

Even though the weather crisis we faced last week in now over, ALONE (the charity that supports older people to age at home) would like to make everyone aware of a list of tips for older people on how to prepare and cope the next time we face such conditions!

Staying well and warm:

· Eat hot meals regularly and drink plenty of fluids. This will keep you warm.

· Have enough fuel supplies to keep your house warm. Spending your money on heating is a priority for you: keep your heating on all day.

· Keep as active as possible. If you can, do some light exercise indoors.

· Make sure you have enough of any medication you need for a week. If you need medication, call your pharmacist.

· Check you have enough food, water and fuel.

· Ask family, friends and neighbours for help if you need it.

· Make sure you have enough credit on your mobile phone.

· Drink alcohol in moderation: alcoholic drinks can make you lose body heat.

· Make sure your heating system is working (that is, central heating, gas, electricity).

· To save on heating bills, close off rooms you are not using.

· Make sure your house isn’t losing heat through windows. Keep your blinds and curtains closed.

Staying safe:

· Avoid all unnecessary travel.

· Write down important contact numbers and keep them beside your phone. Don’t forget emergency numbers: 999 or 112.

· Emergency SMS number: 112. If you are hard of hearing, deaf or have speech difficulties, in an emergency send a text to 112. They will contact the Gardaí for you.


· Wear well-fitted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to leave the house. Take these off as soon as you get inside so that you don’t trip.

· Dress warmly even if you are staying in the house. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.

· When you go to bed, use extra blankets.

· Avoid being out in the wind; a wind can quickly lower your body temperature.

· Wear loose layers of clothing. The air between the layers can help to keep you warm.

· Wear a hat and scarf.

· Change your clothes if they get damp or wet.

Advice for friends or relatives of older people in cold weather

· Call up your older friend daily to ensure they are feeling okay. If possible, check in on them before bad weather hits.

· Ask whether they need assistance with getting food, fuel, or water supplies.

General information:

· For information on public transport, check (01 8366222) and (1850 836 611).

· For information on power outages, check Phone 1850 372 999 to report outages.

· For information about road conditions, check the three websites of Transport Infrastructure Ireland at, and

· For further tips and details about how you can prepare for the cold weather, check

Keep up to date with Call ALONE at 042 933 0103 or 01 6791032 if you’re ever in need of assistance.