Cumbria County Council are warning vulnerable people to keep warm and well as the Met Office issues an alert for severe cold weather, icy conditions and snow which is expected to last until Friday 1 February.
Public Health leads are urging people to look out for vulnerable people as temperatures drop and prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, elderly or those with long term health conditions.
Cold weather can increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, lung illnesses and other diseases. The snow and ice brings risks of slips and falls and hazardous driving conditions.
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 and well over winter.”
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)
- People with heart or respiratory (breathing) problems should stay indoors during very cold weather
- 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
- Wear several layers of clothes rather than 1 chunky layer – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat
- 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
- Check up on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or respiratory problems, to make sure they: are safe and well, are warm enough, especially at night, have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather
If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, advice can be obtained from www.nhs.uk/staywell , NHS 111 or your local pharmacist.