Want a healthy home? Little things make a difference

A warm, dry home is important for good health and with winter approaching, small changes make a big difference.

Southern DHB recently hosted Home Performance and Health Workshops, helping more than 70 representatives from community groups and agencies to learn how they can advise clients and patients to have warmer, drier homes, improve their families’ health and even save money.

"Health and support workers often visit clients and patients at home and it’s an ideal opportunity to share advice on how people can make their homes warmer and drier," says Lynette Finnie, SDHB’s Public Health Service Manager. “A warm, dry home has many health benefits, including reducing respiratory problems and, for older people, it can mean living independently for longer."

WellChild Tamariki Ora community based nurses, social services agencies, Maori health organisations and university student associations were among the groups to attend the Dunedin and Invercargill workshops delivered by home health advisors Beacon Pathways.

Participant Jenny Fieldwick of Catholic Social Services in South Dunedin, says: “Helping people budget, as part of the criteria when applying to the Consumer Electronic Fund (CEF) with a one-off $200 grant, is one of the services we provide and there is definitely some helpful advice we can share, including using heat pumps efficiently, and the importance of opening windows for 10 minutes a day to let fresh air in. Even if you don’t own the home you live in, there are things you can do that make a difference.”

Want to know more?
• Cosy Homes Trust offers healthy homes advice and subsidy info: web: cosyhomes.org.nz email: info@cosyhomes.org.nz phone: 021 999 395
• Curtain Bank distributes free, lined curtains to Community Services Card holders.
»»Dunedin, 174 Prince St dunedincurtainbank.org.nz 03 425 9678
»»Invercargill, 102 Yarrow St. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12-2pm
Four elements of a Healthy Homes:
• Keeping the heat in (stop draughts, use snug-fitting, lined curtains & insulation where possible)
• Managing moisture (dry washing outside – moist air is harder to heat)
• Ventilate (use extractor fan and air your house out daily – expensive air exchange systems aren’t necessary)
• Heat effectively – including at night (inside temperature should ideally be between 18°C and 24°C. Temps should not go below 16°C in bedrooms at night time)


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