Stay well this winter

It’s not too late to get your flu jab – protect yourself and those around you

If you’re over 65 or have a long-term health condition, you’re entitled to a free flu vaccination at your local GP practice or pharmacy. As the winter snap takes hold, Public Health England is urging people to get their jabs soon. It’s especially important if you have an existing health problem because getting flu might put you at risk of more serious complications. If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible, contact your GP surgery or see your local pharmacist for advice. The NHS website also gives advice on who can get a free flu jab. Visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine to find out more.

Remember – even if you don’t suffer from the effects of flu yourself, you can still pass the virus on to those around you.

Very cold weather – tips to keep you warm

Cold weather can affect your health as it can weaken your immune system. Follow these tips to keep you, your family and those around you warm and well in cold weather:

  • Block out draughts by drawing your curtains at dusk and keeping your doors closed
  • Keep your energy levels up – have regular hot drinks and eat at least one hot meal a day if possible
  • Wrap up warm with several light layers of clothes
  • Keep as active as possible in your home
  • Take care in icy conditions – wear shoes with a good grip, put grit or cat litter on paths and driveways and wait until the roads have been gritted before travelling by car
  • If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18°C and keep your bedroom at this temperature all night
  • Make sure you’re receiving any benefits you are entitled to, such as the ‘Winter Fuel Payment’ and ‘Cold Weather Payment’
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be more vulnerable to cold weather

Age UK has some helpful advice on how to keep warm and well this winter. Visit www.ageuk.org.uk to find out more.