John, his partner and son all have a range of long-term health conditions. Following initial referral to AWARM Plus, an assessment of the home was carried out and John was provided with two oil radiators to help keep the home warm prior to installing a central heating system.
The experience of receiving the measures was “amazing”. John and his partner praised Care and Repair and the installation contractors for their professionalism, attentiveness and the quality of works completed.
As a result of the measures, their home is much warmer throughout the house and it has improved the health of the whole family. They feel more in control of the warmth in their home and now have lower fuel bills. In all, AWARM Plus led to better self-care and management of conditions, resulting in an overall improvement in the family’s wellbeing.
What's been the impact of having central heating?
"It has made a massive difference … the main thing is my son, he suffers with sleep problems, he’s on medication to sleep, he sleeps a lot better in the colder months with the heating on, we put the heating on overnight for him so it’s made a big difference to him."
What about your condition which can be made worse by the cold?
"The attacks have gone from, obviously I’ve changed my diet as well, that’s a massive part of it, but the attacks have gone from two or three times a month to once every six months or once every 12 months which is a huge difference."
Has it had any influence on your wife’s asthma?
"Yeah I presume it has cos she doesn’t use the inhaler half as much as what she did, but obviously the cold house, it was damp as well so it has made a massive difference."
Do you think by having a warmer house, has that in any way reduced your visits to the GP or the hospital?
"I’d say so because when I get back I have to go on Tramadol, I don’t use a quarter of the amount that I used to so I don’t have to go to the GP for it, I don’t have as many attacks so it has made a difference."
They did all the comparisons and they said the one I was with was the best but they would ask for another tariff so I was paying £60 to them and they got it down to 30 a month … that’s helped a lot … I can buy better food, that makes a difference, I don’t have to live on sardines, I can do a bit better than that. (John, interview).
It’s easier when grandkids come to stay cos it’s not as cold and we don’t have to worry about them knocking [an electric] radiator over … We feel better them coming and staying over now cos we don’t have to worry about that. Making sure it’s warm enough for them, we know it is … We don’t have to put a radiator in there 24 hours before to air it out.” (Margaret, qualitative interview)
My daughter will come, she usually comes on a Saturday and we sit and knit and gossip. She wouldn’t come as often when it was cold but she comes more now … I would see her at least once a week, now it’s at least twice a week, sometimes more, it depends how her work’s going. (Marion, interview)
When you’re cold, it just makes you go, you walk into your house and it’s nice and warm and you just go ‘oh I’m home, thank goodness’ instead of thinking how am I going to get warm tonight, I’d better get the duvet down, put the fire on and with me being unemployed as well I was thinking how much is it going to be for the gas, the little fire. I think in the morning I used to turn the cooker on to warm the kitchen up … I became more relaxed definitely, not worrying about having a cold home and being ill. (Patricia, qualitative interview)
If you have anxiety, then the cold intensifies the anxiety. If you're warm, especially if you're warm from the morning, you feel the anxiety much less. It [the cold] tenses your body up. (Sue, qualitative interview)
Feeling warm makes you feel better because if you feel cold, you're miserable. (Bill, interview)