Mature Times is supporting the 2016/17 Stay Well This Winter campaign.
The Stay Well This Winter campaign is a joint initiative from NHS England and Public Health England, which encourages people with long-term conditions and those over 65 to prepare for winter to help ward off common winter illnesses.
Cold weather can be very harmful, especially for people age 65 or older: it weakens the immune system, increases blood pressure, thickens the blood and lowers body temperature, increasing risks of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections. For those with COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes or heart and kidney, cold weather, and winter illnesses such as flu, can make health problems like these far worse.
There are a number of things which can help people prepare against the cold weather.
It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.
At the first sign of a cough or a cold get help from your pharmacist before it gets more serious and make sure you speak to your pharmacist about medicines you should have in stock to help get you and your family through the winter season. Make sure you pick up prescription medications before the Christmas holidays start, as many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays.
The campaign also encourages those with long-term health conditions to take up the offer of the free flu vaccine. These people are at particular risk from flu and the flu vaccination is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus. These include people aged 65 and over and those with long-term health conditions like COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease, or those who have suffered a stroke. Check if you are eligible here www.nhs.uk/staywell
If you’re eligible for the free flu vaccine, get it now. It’s free because you need it. Contact your GP or pharmacist to the get the flu jab.
And if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person you may be eligible for the free flu jab, speak to your GP.
If you do need help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit www.nhs.uk. The Stay Well This Winter campaign can help you and your family prepare for winter.
Visit www.nhs.uk/staywell for more information. Other information including the leaflet in alternative formats is also available from the Campaign Resources Centre at campaignresources.phe.gov.uk Or follow the campaign on twitter or facebook at #StayWellThisWinter