Winter friends

Help an older person this winter.

Every winter thousands of people in the UK die as a result of cold weather. Most are over 75 and many of these deaths could be avoided. Hundreds of thousands of others spend much of the winter alone and lonely. According to Age UK, 1 in 20 people in the UK aged 65 and over say they spent Christmas Day 2010 alone.

But it doesn't have to be this way. We can all do our bit to help older more vulnerable people this winter. The NHS Choices Winter Friends campaign aims to get thousands of people across the country to get involved and "take time out this winter to look in on an elderly friend or neighbour to make sure they are warm and coping well".

More information about Winter Friends, including quotes from some of our high-profile supporters, such as Joanna Lumley and Richard Madeley.

By getting involved in the Winter Friends imitative and setting a bit of time aside to help or check on an older relative, friend or neighbour, you can help make winter a better time for everyone. You will also receive cold weather alerts and tips from  NHS Choices to help friends and neighbours as the temperatures drop.

If you'd like to help, here are 10 ways you can make a huge difference.

  • Introduce yourself first
  • Speak clearly
  • Put the kettle on
  • Help with shopping
  • Give them a lift
  • Safety first
  • Help with household tasks
  • Take them a meal
  • Get them moving
  • Watch for signs of illness

For more information about how to find an older person to help and answers to other common questions about Winter Friends, see Winter Friends FAQs.

Winter Friends_NHS

More information

Stay warm and safe

Advice on staying warm safely this winter.

Older people in winter

Cold weather can lead to an increase in associated health problems. Age UK offer some helpful advice.

The Snow Code

Advice issued by the Department for Transport on clearing snow and ice from the pavement outside your home or public spaces to prevent slips and falls. Follow the snow code to clear snow and ice safely.

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