Yes it’s cold outside and there some things we can do for ourselves to make sure we all stay as healthy as possible.
Is your medicine cabinet stocked up?
If you have a long term health condition, make sure your medicine cabinet is fully stocked in case you can’t get out when the temperature suddenly drops. People living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease, kidney or liver disease or neurological disease are particularly vulnerable when the temperature gets extremely cold. Check your medicine cabinet has everyday remedies for minor winter illness as well as what you need for your condition. It’s also a good idea to make sure the kitchen is stocked with nutritious food.
How much do you know about your local pharmacy?
Your local pharmacist can offer advice on minor illnesses so prevelant at this time of year – coughs, colds, sore throats. There’s no need to book an appointment and your conversation will be in complete confidence. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is quitting smoking, losing weight or giving up alcohol they can help you with achieving these.
Pharmacists can recognise many common health complaints and can advise or medicate to help clear up the problem. The pharmacist will advise you to see the doctor if the problem is more serious.
Other services the provide include:
– help with your medicines
– repeat prescriptions
– healthier living
– NHS health check
– medicines use review
– disposing of unwanted medicines.
Are you elderly or vulnerable?
If you are elderly or vulnerable it is important to keep yourself warm and well. Elderly people and those with existing respiratory illnesses are often the hardest hit when temperatures drop, but keeping warm can help prevent some illnesses.
– keep warm and try and block out drafts in your home
– have regular hot drinks and eat at least one hot meal a day if possible
– wear several layers of warm clothing instead of one thick layer
– keep as active in your home as possible, try to move around every hour at the minimum
– grants, benefits and advice are available to make your home more energy efficient
– don’t forget your flu shot
– visit your local pharmacy for advice at the first sign of minor winter ailments such as colds, coughs or sore throats
– when outdoors wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect your lungs from cold air
– wear shoes with a good grip.
For advice on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell
For advice on staying warm during the winter months visit www.ageuk/winterprep