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Become a winter buddy

Could you keep an eye on someone who is elderly or vulnerable to help make the winter months easier for them?

winter buddy page imageFor some people winter can be daunting with the days getting darker earlier, snow and ice increasing the risk of falls and illness and the cold weather making keeping warm more difficult.

A winter buddy is someone who can help make the cold and dark winter months a bit easier by keeping an eye out for older or more vulnerable people.

Being a buddy can mean watching for signs that might indicate that people need a bit of help, for example curtains not being opened (or shut), lights not going on, not seeing the person for a while or when you do they seem unwell or confused. If you know the person well enough to visit you may notice the house being cold (or damp) and/or evidence of them not being able to feed themselves adequately.

As a buddy, you can also help with practical tasks such as shopping or collecting prescriptions.

There are a number of things that people can do to help themselves prepare for winter. For example, make sure they get all the benefits and assessments they are entitled to, that their home is adequately heated, that they are eating warming food and drink and are keeping active.

Download our Winter Buddy Checklist

The Winter Buddy Checklist covers five topics that are key to a person’s wellbeing in the winter months.

Each section contains some questions which you might find helpful to consider, if you visit the person at home, in identifying any potential problems or risks.

This is followed by tips and useful information for each topic, including national support and local information for people living in Leicester City.

A winter buddy is not meant to take the place of a health or social care professional. If you become concerned about their health or wellbeing you can call a family member or their GP.

Keep well top tips:

  • Ask a friend or neighbour if they will become your winter buddy to help you manage over the winter.
  • Become a winter buddy and keep an eye on older and more vulnerable people to help make the winter months easier for them.

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