Get ready for winter
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions. Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, bronchitis and pneumonia. But there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter. Here are our top tips:
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Make sure you get your flu jab
The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly.
That’s why the flu jab is free if you’re aged 65 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition. Children aged two, three, or four, or in school years one and two can have a free nasal spray flu vaccine. Just speak to your GP, or get your free jab through a participating pharmacy. Find out more
It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors. Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
- Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F).
- If you are worried about the cost of keeping your home warm this winter and would like some friendly advice, then one of the West Sussex home energy advisors may be able help. Horsham and Mid Sussex District Councils are offering eligible local residents a free home visit. You may eligible if you are living on a low income or have a long term illness or disability. Contact LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) on 0800 060 7567 or visit their website on www.applyforleap.org.uk for more information and to request a visit.
- Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights. Because breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
- Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.
- Wear several layers of light clothes because they trap warm air better than one bulky layer.
- For more advice on how to keep warm and well this winter, please visit West Sussex Affordable Energy
Look out for other people
Remember that other people, like older neighbours, friends and family members, may need a bit of extra help over the winter. There’s a lot you can do to help people who are more frail than you.
- Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they’re feeling under the weather.
Make sure their heating is working and they are able to keep their home warm. If they need help with keeping their heating on and energy bills down, one of the West Sussex home energy advisors may be able to help. Horsham and Mid Sussex District Councils are offering eligible local residents a free home visit. They may eligible if they are living on a low income or have a long term illness or disability. Contact LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) on 0800 060 7567 or visit their website on www.applyforleap.org.uk for more information and to request for a visit.
- Make sure they’re stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they can’t go out.
- If they do need to go out in the cold, encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect them from the cold air, and to reduce their risk of chest infections.
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