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  • Writer's pictureThe British Polio Fellowship

Staying warm this winter


Whilst the cold weather affects most people, some individuals are particularly at risk, especially if they are over 65 years old and have a long-term health condition such as those who are affected by polio, late effects of polio or post-polio syndrome.


The British Polio Fellowship has shared some helpful guidance to keep polio survivors warm and well this winter.


Keep your home warm

Heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable. Low indoor temperatures can have a serious impact on your health, especially if you have post-polio syndrome or other medical conditions. By making simple changes you can keep your home warm.


  • Heat the rooms that you tend to spend the most time in to at least 18°C, for example your living room or bedroom.

  • Reduce draughts by fitting draft excluders around doors and/or windows.

  • Keep your bedroom windows closed at night.

  • Wear several layers of thinner clothing, these will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.


Prepare your home

Make sure your household appliances are safe and working properly. Demands on them during the winter tend to be much greater.



Seek financial support

There are grants, benefits, and sources of advice available to people in financial difficulties. Here are just a few:



Look after others

Look after your neighbours, friends or contacts who may be a polio survivor and needs extra support during cold weather.


  • Stay in touch and check whether they are feeling unwell or in need of any practical help.

  • Ask if they need help stocking up on food and medication, especially if the forecast is for bad weather.

  • Call the British Polio Fellowship for advice and support.

  • Contact your local pharmacist, GP, or NHS 111 to seek advice if you are worried about their health.

  • Phone NHS 111 for an assessment but in an emergency dial 999 immediately.


Typical signs of hypothermia are shivering, slow breathing, tiredness or confusion, and pale, cold skin.


NOTE: For polio survivors affected by cold intolerance, read the Thermal Regulation factsheet on the British polio Fellowship website: https://www.britishpolio.org.uk/factsheets



Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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