Defending yourself from the Beast from the the East — Scope | Disability forum
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Defending yourself from the Beast from the the East

Sam_Alumni
Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
As the cold weather and storms hit us with week named the beast from the east, we wanted to share some advice from the NHS about keeping warm and well in bad weather.

They say that some people including disabled people, people with chronic conditions, older people, young children and people with mental health conditions are more vulnerable and at risk during spells of cold weather.

snowy scene of a house in a forest

Be prepared

The Met Office provides weather forecasts on radio and TV, so listen in to these bulletins regularly to keep up to date with the weather.
Severe weather warnings are also issued on the Met Office website, through the Met Office Twitter feed, or you can call the Weather Desk on 0370 900 0100 or 01392 885 680.
The Met office also has advice on getting ready for winter. This includes suggestions for practical things you can do to prepare for winter weather, including cold, ice and snow, high winds and flooding.

Protect your health in the cold

If you start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or cold, don't wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist.
Follow these tips on keeping well in the cold:
  • find out if you can get the flu jab for free on the NHS
  • wear several layers of clothes rather than one chunky layer – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat
  • use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but don't use both at the same time
  • have at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm; and make sure you have hot drinks regularly
  • try not to sit still for more than an hour or so indoors – get up and stretch your legs
  • stay active – even moderate exercise can help keep you warm
  • wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth when outdoors – add a hat and wear shoes with a good grip, too. If you have a heart or respiratory problem, stay indoors during very cold weather
Look in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives

Check up on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or respiratory (breathing) problems, to make sure:
  • they're safe and well
  • are warm enough, especially at night
  • have stocks of food and medicines so they don't need to go out during very cold weather
If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1174 (8am-7pm every day).
If you're concerned that the person may be suffering from hypothermia, contact NHS 111.


Do you have any tips on keeping warm and well? How is the weather near you today? Does bad weather affect you more because of your impairment?

Scope
Senior online community officer
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Comments

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Sam_Scope This great thank you for this.  Lovely to think of SCOPE team thoughtful.

    My useful tips always good breakfast.  Porridge is bland on it own so have fruit and nuts.  I do Apple from the fruit bowl with Prunes half water and milk in the microwave.  Nuts can be added Walnut, Almonds useful fats.

    Add those frozen fruit packs of berries defrost overnight.  Eggs good to eat yes contain cholesterol but useful to keep warm.  I do poached eggs and grilled tomatoes.  Got no bread use crackers with cheese and nuts mid morning snacks.  Use boiling water kettle if no tea or coffee.  Just a dash of honey and lemon juice from a bottle.  Helps with Vitamin C.

    Do little and often small snacks if not hungry.  Crispbreads, soup, beans on toast whole meal bread.  Add to the beans what you like spices.  I add chillies from a jar or chilli powder.  Contains chilli useful immunity against colds.

    Useful meals are ones that contain pulses and beans.  Like Dhal, Curries.  You can make your own.  I use vegetables such as Aubergines with Lentils plus Onions, Tin Tomatoes usually Passata, Curry Spices, Ginger, Garlic.  Red Lentils or Tins.  Useful and not expensive but filling.

    Roots soups another one.  Just any roots diced sliced with curry spices plus Onions Passata Stock cover.  Bring to boil simmer add in lentils or beans.  You can blitz up blender when cool down .  Just reheat microwave.

    Hope any of this helps simple ideas.  Useful and cheap.

    I try to plan much as I can remember.  Have to live on my own.  Make sure fridge freezer stocked up.  Have to be aware of my own frailty.  Have fallen and have slipped over.  Depression and anxiety problems, so this helps staying in touch.  With the community.

    Only thing I forgot was I left my prescription should have done this last week.  Just not too good last week.  Went yesterday now I have to fight to get out the door probably Thursday to pick it up.

    The safety and welfare of our community.  Use your common sense.  If travelling by car have your mobile phone charged. a shovel.  Good footwear. If on a really long journey is it necessary.  Make sure you have blankets, warm clothing, replacements of socks, footwear.  Flasks of hot water.  Mars Bars, Chocolate, small snacks, fruit, nuts etc in the glove box.  Also a large card with you name and address on it.  Contact numbers of next of kin.  Just in case you car is stranded and you are found.

    Sorry if that sounds distressing but I have travelled all over the UK.  This is what I carried when I was buying and selling from Markets.  Asked AA and RAC want to put in my car.

    Especially weather like this. 

    Take care every body




    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • janejr
    janejr Member Posts: 144 Pioneering
    Hi everyone I'm living by the peak District and we are having blizzards it's freezing cold here the beast has landed. Stay warm everyone
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Stay warm and safe everyone :)
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @janejr Good evening hope you OK.  Computer malfunctioned.  Only contact outside is this at the moment.  I hope you will be OK.  I hope you able to get out.

    I assume you are not blocked in.  Been to that part of the UK.  Lovely scenic and really rural.  Great in Summer when went there.

    Hope to speak to you soon

    Take care
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
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    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,741 Listener
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  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Victoriad Good evening Just great to hear from you.  Hope you are keeping safe and warm.

    May I say that's the best offer I had so far this year.  Thank you.. Well I try to be every body's friend.

    I know I made one here thank you.

    Hope Scotland talking about the weather supposed to really cold up there this week.  I do know the Army, do Artic training.

    Yes just some simple idea's for every body.  To get food in the body to keep warm.

    You might be interested Lentils and Dhal with Naan.  Do that one .. Old recipe when I used to go to Bradford on the A64 little café set on the road.  Arrive you could smell the Dhal for miles a round.  Just Lentils those red ones I use Curry spices and  usual Ginger, Garlic.  He used Fenegreek. not easy to find.  That's all he ever did.

    Found some Fenegreek in Asda looks like Tumeric.  You can buy it ground.  Lovely curry smell.  It is a plant looks like a bush with narrow leaves.  Has little pellets hard to grind, hence buying it ground.

    Worth a store cupboard buy.  Good in Soup and Stews with Roots just gives that curry like hum.

    Please can I add if you wish to have some other recipes to keep your warm.  That are not too expensive.  As a friend I can send you any.

    Take care

    Your friend
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 Disability Gamechanger

    Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature below 35C (95F). Normal body temperature is around 37C (98.6F).

    Hypothermia can be serious if not treated quickly. You should call 999 and give first aid if you notice signs of hypothermia.

    Symptoms of hypothermia

    Early signs of hypothermia include:

    • shivering
    • cold and pale skin
    • slurred speech
    • fast breathing
    • tiredness
    • confusion

    These are symptoms of mild hypothermia, where someone's body temperature is between 32C and 35C.

    If their temperature drops to 32C or lower, they'll usually stop shivering completely and may pass out.

    This is a sign that their condition is getting worse and emergency medical help is needed.

    Hypothermia in babies

    Babies with hypothermia may look healthy, but their skin will feel cold. They may also be limp, unusually quiet and refuse to feed.

    Treating hypothermia

    You should call 999 and then give first aid if you think someone's got hypothermia.

    First aid for hypothermia

    You need to warm the person up.

    Follow these five steps:

    1. Move them indoors.
    2. Remove any wet clothing and dry them.
    3. Wrap them in blankets.
    4. Give them a warm non-alcoholic drink, but only if they can swallow normally.
    5. Give energy food that contains sugar, such as a chocolate bar, but only if they can swallow normally.

    If the person can't be moved indoors, find something for them to rest on to protect them from the cold ground, like a towel or a blanket.

    If they don't appear to be breathing – and you know how to do it – give them CPR, but you must continue this until professional help arrives in the form of the ambulance service or a medical team.

    Things to avoid

    Some things can make hypothermia worse:

    • Don't put the person into a hot bath.
    • Don't massage their limbs.
    • Don't use heating lamps.
    • Don't give them alcohol to drink.

    These actions can cause the heart to suddenly stop beating (cardiac arrest).

    Causes of hypothermia

    Hypothermia happens when your body gets too cold and your temperature drops below 35C.

    Hypothermia can be caused by:

    • inadequate clothing in cold weather
    • falling into cold water
    • getting cold in wet clothes
    • living in a cold house
    • being very tired and cold

    Who's at risk?

    Some groups of people are more vulnerable to hypothermia.

    They include:

    • babies and children – they lose heat faster than adults
    • older people who are inactive and don't eat well 
    • heavy alcohol and drug users – their bodies lose heat faster

    Preventing hypothermia

    To stay warm indoors in cold weather:

    • keep your home at a temperature of at least 18C
    • a baby's room should be 16-20C 
    • keep windows and internal doors shut
    • wear warm clothes
    • use a room thermometer

    Check in on an elderly neighbour regularly during cold weather to make sure their home is warm.

    The government offers a winter fuel payment for older people to help them pay their heating bills.

    See keep warm, keep well in cold weather for more advice.

    To stay warm outdoors:

    • plan your activity
    • plan for the unexpected
    • dress for the weather conditions
    • bring extra layers in case the weather changes
    • change out of wet or sweaty clothes as soon as possible
    • have non-alcoholic warm drinks
    • make sure you're never too far away from help

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 Disability Gamechanger

    Here is some advice about driving in the snow. While you may not be planning any long distance driving it is worth checking out the tips for long distance driving. Even a short journey you could end up being in your car longer than planned during this type of weather.

    AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

    • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
    • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
    • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
    • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
    • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
    • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
    • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
    • Always look and steer where you want to go.
    • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

    Tips for long-distance winter trips:

    • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
    • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
    • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
    • Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
    • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
    • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
    • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
    • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
    • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
    • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

    Tips for driving in the snow:

    • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
    • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
    • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
    • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
    • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
    • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
    • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
    • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Geoark Thank you for this.  Hope you OK.  I feel this is good information that we as a community need to know.

    Much appreciated.

    Take care
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @thespiceman

    Having been the Chair for our tenant management organisation and an estate with lots of elderly people I worked a lot with our estate manager to ensure the estate was prepared for this type of weather. As well as making sure all our staff are first aid trained, a community room which can provide hot drinks and soup and a warm place is someone's heating goes down, and making sure this type of information is available to everyone.

    We also make sure the main pathways around the estate are gritted, and priority is given to make sure all our vulnerable people are visited by staff to make sure they are safe and to offer advice if needed. We also set up a discretionary fund, so staff can top up gas or electric so vulnerable residents on low income don't have to worry about putting the heating on.

    Having a community where people do look out for each other during this type of weather also helps. Even people who won't speak to one another, if they haven't seen someone for a few days when they normally do will alert staff. They are also our best resource for finding out if someone has been taken to hospital.

    Unfortunately I appreciate that in many communities this is not the case.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Geoark That's amazing wish I had that, really supportive.  Good community.  None where I live.  I have tried in the past for the housing association please can you help us.  Spoken to a person who I thought had our interests at heart.  Felt talking to a brick wall.  More like do not care, non entity.

    Us being people in our area who are elderly, disabled and the rest.  Have a neighbour spoke for five minutes last week.  Issue is she's in your face constantly and very abrasive to talk to.

    Who want's that.  Had a mental health support worker arrive first words were her.  What's the issue there then.  Door's open every time visitor comes.

    Last year I did speak to her a lot maybe for a hour well tried to, could not get a word in edge ways.

    Complaining this and that.  What does not help her she has a partner never worked, lot younger, constantly being ill.  Does little to help him self.  She's had enough.

    He's sick at the moment obese over weight never tried to help himself.  I try to talk to him but uses excuses to defend what he is doing.  Tried to impart my health history on him, little things like what we all have.

    Winter right now other day I gingerly asked how can I help?  Snapped at me, so I just left it.

    I have a lad in the other side of me.  Keeps himself to himself.  Never seen him.  Not easy do not know his name.  Blinds shut.  At the end of the row of bungalows.  I believe he does not like me.  Parks behind me.  Can not get out.  There is room just.  If car space vacant takes it with a sneer.  I said you have it.  Will you help me with my shopping.  Spat of fury to that.  Disabled he says to me, so park there I will park else where.  Just nasty bloke.  Got disability but had been told to quit smoking and the rest.  Told me himself.

    Those are the people in my community.  My friend up the road came down but hates it because of these issues.  Old friends will not visit.  So it goes on.  I am a very patience, tolerant understanding guy.  One day some things going to give.

    Problem is the housing association have nothing like a lot of communities have.  They publish a booklet saying we have done this and that for various parts of the country.  My big issue is rang up when power cuts, cold weather, asking advice.  Pain in the butt.  Sorry but I have a boiler that loses pressure arguing on phone to get work men out.  Can not do this have a disability of hands.

    Workmen who turn up are not pleasant, not nice very inpolite.  Which does not help my mental condition.  I will admit one lad out all the work lads very good, rarely see him.

    If you work for a community housing association not good wages and the staff never seen any housing officers.

    Everything is an inconvienance and it irritates us all .  One time when I moved here thought be happy.  Living here is now more like just a place to live.  Roof over my head.

    One final point I am what they call a register for people with disabilities, mental health plus for elderly.  Thought would ring or email.  Housing officer for the community.  Am I living in fantasy land.

    I apologise for long post.  Just I wish and wonder why communities like yours can not be for ever body.  Not for the few.

    Love your posts and articles  Thank you for reading this

    Take care
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,741 Listener
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  • janejr
    janejr Member Posts: 144 Pioneering
    Thank you @Geoark for all your info. Morning @thespiceman how was your night hope your warm enough. I woke up around 5.30 freezing cold had to get up and put heating on still cold with heating on so staying in bed 
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Victoriad   Morning yes another cold day in winter wonderland of the North.

    I hope every body's been taking on board this cold weather information.  Supplied by @Geoark .

    I just gave my information useful foodie stuff.  Nothing really hard to do.  Thank you all.

    I hope and pray computer is going to be OK.  Keep in touch   Always here.

    Hope you keep safe and warm.

    Just trying not to worry, can not get out.  Not able to do so.  Watched Ray Mears Survival guy.  Useful stuff, could come in handy.

    I do hope to speak to you soon.  Enjoy your bird watching.  This time of year hope you get rare bird species.  Had few times Redwings and Kestrels.

    Scotland get all those Winter birds like Waxwings.  Lovely to look at.

    Take care
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @janejr Good morning how things.  Up and about, just really like every body else.  Care and concern for our community.

    This weather well it is getting worse.  I am stranded in the bungalow.  Just have to sit this out.

    Got food and enough planned for next week.  My prescription runs meds on Sunday  I put one in.  Hopefully try a contact a friend soon.  To pick this up.

    You the same bit stock up and just hang in there.  If I recall a lot of the Peak District has small villages with everything in it you need.

    Good local stores, I know local amenities Banks, Post Office shut or not available now.  Have to travel to use them.

    Options to use internet I think next time on may be meds.  Saw a service on TV funded by NHS.  Send by Post I believe.  Apply on line through GP. 

    I hope you keep safe, speak to you soon

    Take care
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    How is everyone doing? I have two out of three kids off school and currently holed up at my nans house as she is 93 and lives alone!

    Hope everyone is warm and safe :)
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Sam_Scope How are you ?Thank you for thinking of all of us.

    Snowed in live in a bungalow heating on.  Computer went haywire yesterday lost you all my lovely friends all afternoon.

    Main communication breakdown.  Got back on around evening.

    Have enough supplies and food till next week.  Just might run out of meds by Sunday might have to send SOS to a friend tonight, if he can help. 

    Put prescription in and have to collect.

    Keep Safe and Warm.

    Take care
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 782 Pioneering
    hi everyone. i live in mid wales and at the moment -3 but feels like -9 according to the app on my phone. it isn't snowing here at the moment and the ice on the pavement seems to be thawing. just been for a walk with my dog bella i don't think she is keen on this weather, this morning she kept giving me dirty looks when i put my coat on ready to take her out for a wee. run out of a few supplies. no sausage or bread and running low on eggs but i will do an online shop in a bit and i live next to a shop so if i am really desperate for something i can get it there. got a nice suprise this morning dwp sent me a letter saying they were giving me a cold weather payment. looks like that will come in useful. managed to save myself a bit of money though i bought myself a thick fluffy dressing gown the other day it really keeps me warm.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @deb74 Pleased to meet you.  Hope you OK just be sensible reading your post.  Very icy at the moment.

    I have ideas for simple breakfast and other ideas happy to help.  Store cupboard standby's in a emergency.    I will gladly do so.  It 's I think shocked us all.  Can we cope no we cannot this going to happen again.

    Seems these countries who have snow and ice cope better.  Why cannot we?

    That's a thought Cold Weather Payment how much will get.

    Keep safe and warm

    Take care
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes

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