Older people are being urged by the government to take steps to keep warm tomorrow – the coldest day of the year according to folklore.
The Keep Warm Keep Well campaign, run by the Department of Health (DoH) advises vulnerable people – including the elderly, the disabled and those on low incomes – on how to stay healthy in winter.
Public health minister Caroline Flint outlined top tips to keep warm and well in the colder months. Stopping smoking increases oxygen levels reducing the risk of a heart attack, she said, adding that it is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet and wrap up warm in lots of layers.
"It's vital to look after yourself and each other to keep warm and well during the cold winter months," Ms Flint added.
People wanting advice can call the Home Heat Helpline, run by the Energy Retail Association, to talk to specially trained staff about heating bills, advice on managing payments and grants that are available to help.
Cold weather kills at least 20,000 people each year in England and Wales and in especially cold winters this has risen to 40,000.