East Sussex pensioner who suffered hypothermia in her own home encourages others to seek help

A 71-year-old woman from East Sussex who got hypothermia in her own home last year is encouraging people to seek help with heating their properties.

Linda, from East Hoathly, lives in a home with many original features from 1900, including single-glazed windows.

The draughty house was unable to protect Linda from the cold. When the weather turned earlier in the year, Linda’s body temperature dropped to dangerously low levels. It was later confirmed that she was suffering fromhypothermia.

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Energy advisors later visited her house after she had recovered and established that she was eligible for funding from the government’s Green Homes Grant.

Linda from East Hoathly was helped by the scheme recently SUS-210811-102731001

This allowed Linda to finally have new double glazing installed to replace the existing windows. Five windows were replaced as well as a bay window and the back door.

Linda said, “To say I am thrilled with them is an understatement. The house feels lighter and brighter, and I am hopeful of a much warmer winter.”

People who are struggling with keeping their houses warm, mainly elderly people who live on their own, do not always request help.

They may be unsure who to ask, unaware of the dangers, or embarrassed about being unable to afford any changes. It often leads to many elderly people suffering in silence during the cold months and having detrimental effects on their health.

The council are hoping that this support will be enough to stop countless others going through what Linda did.

Darrell Gale, director of Public Health at East Sussex County Council, said, “The cold can be very harmful to health, and unfortunately we know there are people in East Sussex who struggle to keep their homes warm.

“We are all aware of the additional health challenges we face this winter, and so it is even more important that residents, particularly families with young children, older people and those with long-term medical conditions, stay warm and well by keeping their home heated to at least 18C (65F) throughout the coming months.

“I encourage all residents who struggle to keep warm to apply for a free warm home check as soon as possible to see if they are eligible for support to help them heat their homes this winter.”

The service offers help and guidance to those having difficulty affording to heat their home. It details ways to maintain house temperature and reduce energy costs, as well as the financial support options available.

Residents on low incomes may also qualify for a free home visit, which includes an assessment to identify how to retain heat. Assistance with minor improvements such as increased insulation and boiler repairs can also be provided.

To find out more and to apply for a warm home check visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/keepwarm, text WARM to 80011 or call 0800 464 7307.

More information on how to stay well this winter is available on the NHS website - www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/