Elderly and Vulnerable Reminded of Risks of Cold Weather

With cold weather upon us Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) is urging elderly and vulnerable residents to take steps to ensure they stay well and safe this winter.

Cold weather spells can affect everyone but for the elderly and vulnerable a drop in temperature can aggravate certain health problems. This can lead to admittances to hospital which could be avoided.

"Keeping warm inside and outside the house during the winter months and taking simple precautions minimises the risk of problems developing," explains Susan Ombler, Deputy Chief Nurse at LCHS.

"Colder weather affects everybody at this time of year but it can cause serious problems for older and vulnerable people.

"Making sure your home is warm is one important step; it needs to be at least 18 degrees Celsius. It is also important to take extra precautions when we go out in cold weather.

"As neighbours we can also play an important role in checking on older and vulnerable residents. Sometimes that friendly knock on the door can make all the difference, don't wait for a crisis to arise to be a good neighbour.

Top tips to stay healthy and safe this winter include:

  • Ask your local pharmacy if they offer prescription pick-up and delivery services, these can help you avoid potentially hazardous journeys to collect medications in bad weather.

  • Dress in plenty of layers, particularly when leaving the house and make sure you have some warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles.

  • Check your heating and plumbing systems are working properly and have been serviced recently.

  • Ask if neighbours, family or friends can make checks on you periodically.

  • Keep an eye on weather forecasts, particularly severe weather warnings from the Met Office.

  • Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather.

  • Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house.

  • Follow up your GP's invitation to have a flu jab.

  • Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast.

  • Do not go out unless you have to when it is icy or has been snowing.

  • Do not go out unless you have to when it is icy or has been snowing.

 For more information on staying well this winter log onto www.nhs.uk/staywell