Residents urged to keep warm this winter
Residents are being encouraged to stay warm and look out for elderly neighbours this winter in a bid to tackle recurring seasonal health issues.
Colds, flu and even pneumonia are illnesses regularly reported by patients in the region over the winter months.
Staff at NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group say keeping homes well heated and making sure elderly relatives and neighbours are well looked after can go a long way to preventing common winter illnesses.
Terry Vine, deputy chief nurse at the CCG, said there are little things people can do to reduce the risk of getting ill.
He said keeping an eye out for the most vulnerable in our communities is also an important part of winter preparations.
He said: “When the temperature drops to below eight degrees centigrade, some people can be at increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, flu, pneumonia and hypothermia.
“Cold weather can also affect people with mental health conditions such as depression and dementia so it is important people keep themselves warm and look out for others who may be at risk.
“Very cold weather can be a problem for everyone, but you are most vulnerable if you are 65 or older, on a low income so can’t afford heating, have a long term health condition or are pregnant or disabled.
“Being prepared for the cold weather that winter brings with it is very important for your health. Stay aware of weather forecasts and heat your home to at least 18 degrees centigrade, keeping windows shut.
“Keep curtains closed at dusk and keep internal doors shut as well as getting your heating system regularly checked out by an engineer.
“If you are eligible for a free flu jab, get it done. It is the best protection there is against this unpredictable virus that can cause very unpleasant illness in children and severe illness or even death among those in the more vulnerable at risk groups.
“Also, make sure you wear enough clothes to keep yourself warm.
“If you have an elderly neighbour or relative, check on them and make sure they are prepared and that their medicine cabinet and food cupboards are well stocked.
“Looking after yourself and others and keeping warm this winter will help reduce your risk of falling ill.”
Mr Vine also said ensuring you have had a flu vaccination if eligible is another important way of staying well this winter.
To find out more about the flu vaccination, including information about who should have it, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/