Cumbria County Council and local NHS partners are reminding the public of steps to take to stay well this winter, as Public Health England issue cold weather warnings with many parts of England forecast to receive their first bout of cold this winter.
Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Cold weather can affect both physical and mental health and severe cold snaps can have dramatic effects on everyday life, especially for people who are already vulnerable because of their age, illness or disability.
“We can all prepare and help others by showing some community spirit, it’s really important that people stay warm over winter.”
Dr Owen Landeg of Public Health England, said: “This cold is likely to arrive late on Thursday and into Friday. Before then it’s really important to think about what you can do to prepare and protect more vulnerable friends and family from the ill-effects of the cold.
“It is best to wear lots of thin layers, have plenty of warm food and drinks to stay warm, and check weather forecasts before heading out. Also, wear shoes with a good, slip-resistant grip to prevent any accidental falls.
“When indoors, stay warm, heat homes to at least 18°C, and keep up-to-date with the weather forecast – all of this is particularly important if anyone in the home is very young, 65 or over or has a long-term heart or lung condition, as they can feel the ill-effects of cold more than the rest of us.”
Frank Saunders, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office said: “It’s going to be cold over the next few days, with temperatures for many parts limited to between 3 and 6°C through the day.
“Many of us will wake up to a frost on Friday and Saturday morning, before wet and windy weather moves in later on Saturday.”
Ways to keep warm and well include:
- People who are not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, should heat their home to at least 18C (65F).
- Some people may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating their home, grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.
- People who are aged 65 or over, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person are encouraged to get a free flu jab.
- Don’t delay in getting treatment for minor winter ailments like colds or sore throats. Visit your local pharmacist for advice on treatment before it gets worse so you can recover quicker.
- Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. ‘Popping in’ for a cup of tea could really help an isolated older person. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather. If you’re worried about an older person, contact a family member, the county council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 055 6112 (8am to 7pm every day).
- Those who need help over the holiday period when GP services or pharmacies are closed should call NHS 111 to get the right medical attention urgently, www.nhs.uk can also direct people to a local service that is open.
For more information on how to keep warm and well, search ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ or visit www.gov.uk/phe/keep-warm.