Health People

Keep an eye on elderly neighbours this winter

By Sarah Edwards

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging residents across the county to keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives during the winter weather.  

You can help by:
Getting to know your elderly neighbours.
Helping them keep warm and fed.
Encouraging them to keep mobile.
Helping with shopping and home tasks.
Taking them to the shops, GP or local pharmacy to pick up medications or get their flu jab.
Watching for illness and help them seek help early.

The NHS ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign is also advising people about warding off common winter illnesses before they become more serious and a hospital stay is needed.

Dr Edward Capo-Bianco, clinical locality director at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is a good time to think about how the bad weather may affect your friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. These groups can be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold so think now what you could do to help. 

“Our advice is that when indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks and try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°c, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over. If mobility is not an issue keep active as best you can. If you need to go out, wear lots of thin layers and wear shoes with a good, slip-resistant grip to prevent any accidental falls.”

There are simple steps which people – particularly those over 65, with long term conditions and their carers – can take to stay well:

It’s still not too late to vaccinate yourself and your family, particularly those in at-risk groups, against flu, which hospitalises thousands of people a year.
As soon as you feel unwell with a cough or cold get advice from a pharmacist, before it gets too serious.
If you are ill call the non-emergency NHS 111 helpline which can advise you on the best service for you.
Keep as warm as you can and if possible maintain rooms at 18°c.
Pick up any prescriptions before shops close for Christmas.
Re-stock on food and medicines before shops close.

For more advice please visit NHS Choices website below: