By Tarvin Webteam - 19th December 2013 6:00am
So far this year we have managed to escape any really cold weather but as we all know our weather can change suddenly with temperatures dropping away quickly. We are coming up to the extended holiday period when many businesses close down and services providing advice or help often operate with minimum staffing levels. So its good to think ahead for both our own families and particularly our older residents.
We published an article recently on the Tarvin Census data which showed that at the present time there are more than 300 households in Tarvin consisting solely of people aged 65 or over, and these households make up more than a quarter of the total.
Some good advice from NHS choices
It may seem obvious but its worth repeating that cold homes have a significant impact on people's health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm. Unfortunately last winter (2012/13) in the UK, there were 31,000 deaths linked to the cold weather. Lets do our best to ensure Tarvin residents are not part of this year's statistics. If you're worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66
Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia.
The chances of these problems are higher if you're vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because of one or more of the following:
- you're over 65
- you're on a low income (so can't afford heating)
- you have a long-term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney disease
- you are disabled
Flu is a highly infectious illness that can spread rapidly. If you're at risk of complications from flu, you may be eligible for a free flu jab.
The government has issued advice on getting ready for winter and aims to reduce cold-related illness and deaths.
Key tips include:
- Try to keep your home warm. Keep your main living room at around 18-21°C (65-70°F). If you can't heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep. You can also use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you're in bed.
- Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.
- Wrap up warm, inside and out. Layer your clothing to stay warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.
- Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they're safe and well. 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.
As well as enjoying ourselves this festive season lets keep a neighbourly eye out for others in our Community who may be less fortunate.