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Clothes to keep you warm

Clothes To Keep You Warm Panel

While the fresh air is invigorating, staying warm and comfortable throughout the colder months is essential. Age-related changes like reduced body heat production and increased sensitivity to the cold can make staying cosy a challenge.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Heat loss: Our bodies naturally lose heat, and staying warm becomes more challenging with age.

This can lead to feeling cold, discomfort, and an increased risk of illness.

Layering: Wear multiple thin layers for better heat retention than one thick layer. 

Insulating fabrics: Choose natural fibres like wool or merino wool, or synthetic materials like fleece for optimal warmth.

Draughty homes: Cold air leaks can significantly impact indoor comfort.

This can lead to feeling chilly despite heating your home, leading to increased energy bills.

Draft-proofing measures: Seal windows, doors, and other potential air leaks to keep warm air in. 

Thermal curtains: Invest in thick curtains that provide an extra layer of insulation against chilly windows.

Cold hands and feet: Extremities lose heat faster, making them particularly susceptible to feeling cold.

This can lead to discomfort and difficulty performing daily tasks. 

Insulated gloves and socks: Choose gloves and socks made from wool, fleece, or thermal fabrics for maximum warmth. 

Heated gloves and socks: Consider rechargeable options for added warmth, especially on very cold days.


Understanding heat loss and staying warm

Our bodies naturally lose heat, and this process becomes more efficient with age. To maintain a comfortable internal temperature, it's crucial to minimise heat loss, especially during the colder months. Here's how clothing and your environment play a role:

  • Clothing: Wearing the right clothes is vital for trapping heat and preventing you from feeling cold.
  • Environment: Draughty homes can significantly impact your comfort level, as cold air leaks can make you feel chilly despite having the heating on.

Combating the chill with clothing

Here are some tips for staying warm with the right clothing choices:

  • The power of layering: Layering multiple thin layers is far more effective at trapping warm air than wearing one thick, bulky garment. This allows for better temperature regulation and easier adjustment throughout the day.
  • Choose the right fabrics: Opt for natural fibres like wool or merino wool, known for their excellent insulating properties. Merino wool is particularly soft and comfortable against the skin. Synthetic materials like fleece are also great at trapping heat and wicking away moisture.
  • Base layer: Start with a thin, breathable base layer made from thermal fabric or merino wool. This layer wicks away sweat and keeps you dry, preventing that clammy feeling that can make you feel colder.
  • Mid-layer: This layer provides the bulk of the insulation. Choose a fleece jacket, a wool sweater, or a thermal vest.
  • Outer layer: A windproof and water-resistant outer layer is essential for keeping the wind and rain at bay. A good winter coat made from a material like down or a synthetic alternative will provide additional warmth and protection from the elements.

Keeping your extremities warm

Hands and feet lose heat faster than the rest of your body, making them particularly susceptible to feeling cold. Here's how to keep your extremities toasty:

  • Insulated gloves and socks: Invest in good quality gloves and socks made from wool, fleece, or thermal fabrics. Look for options with a snug fit that don't restrict your movement.
  • Mittens vs. gloves: Mittens provide better warmth than gloves because they keep your fingers together. However, gloves offer more dexterity for everyday tasks. Consider fingerless gloves for a compromise between warmth and functionality.
  • Thermal socks: Choose socks with a higher wool content or those specifically designed for thermal insulation.
  • Heated gloves and socks: Rechargeable heated gloves and socks offer an extra layer of warmth, especially on very cold days.

Keeping the chill out of your home

Draughty homes can significantly impact your comfort level and make it more challenging to stay warm, even with the heating on. Here are some tips for keeping your home cosy:

  • Draft-proofing: Seal any potential air leaks around windows, doors, and letterboxes to prevent cold air from entering. Consider using draft excluders or self-adhesive weather strips.
  • Thermal curtains: Invest in thick curtains with a thermal lining. These provide an extra layer of insulation against cold windows, especially important during the night.
  • Rugs and carpets: Bare floors feel colder underfoot. Adding rugs and carpets to your home can make a surprising difference in how warm you feel, especially in rooms with tile or hardwood flooring.
  • Hot water bottles: Fill a hot water bottle and snuggle up with it on the sofa or in bed for an extra dose of warmth.
  • Room temperature: Maintain a comfortable room temperature, ideally between 18°C and 21°C (64°F and 70°F). Setting your thermostat a few degrees lower at night is acceptable while you're under a warm blanket.

Additional things to consider

  • Stay active: Regular physical activity, even gentle exercise indoors, helps generate body heat and improve circulation.
  • Warm drinks and meals: Soups, stews, and hot beverages like herbal tea can help warm you from the inside out.
  • Healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides your body with the energy it needs to stay warm.
  • Wear a hat and scarf: A significant amount of heat can be lost from your head. Wearing a hat and scarf can make a surprising difference in how warm you feel.
  • Look after your feet: Cold feet can make your whole body feel colder. Ensure your feet are always dry, and wear slippers indoors on cold floors.
  • Slippers and dressing gowns: We can't afford to lose the body heat that we build up at night, so even on a quick trip to the loo, it is wise to put on slippers and dressing gowns. Poncho or cape-style gowns may be easier to get on and off at night.

Where to buy equipment to help you stay warm

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.



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