As colder weather sweeps across the area this week, NHS Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging local people to take extra care. Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.
The Met Office has issued a Level 3 cold weather alert for the Dudley and the Midlands area and is urging caution during the severe weather conditions which could mean temperatures of 2°C and/or widespread ice and heavy snow.
One of the best ways of keeping well during winter is to stay warm. Dudley Public Health and Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group are providing five top tips to keep your home warm, keep on top of your bills, and keep healthy. Some may seem obvious, but they could help you to stay warmer and maintain good health over the coming weeks.
- Heat your home well
By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18-21ºC) you can still keep your home warm and lower your bills. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but never use both together. It is especially important if you’re at home all day.
- Eat well and have plenty of fluids
Food and water are vital sources of energy, and they help keep your body warm. Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.
- Get a flu jab
You can get free flu jabs to protect against seasonal flu from your GP or local pharmacy if you are over 65, pregnant, or have a long-term condition.
- Look after yourself and others
On cold days try to avoid going outside. However, if you do need to go out, remember to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during the winter to make sure they are safe and well.
- Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked
If you’re on medication, make sure you get your repeat prescriptions in time so you don’t run out. If you haven’t already, talk to your GP practice about registering for Patient Online. Simply complete the paperwork and you’ll be able to request repeat prescriptions online as well as make GP appointments. Check to make sure you have enough over the counter remedies for coughs and colds so you don’t need to leave home unless you have to.
Deborah Harkins, Director of Public Health for Dudley, said: “Encouraging people to keep warm and healthy during the winter is one of our key priorities, particularly for older residents and those that spend all day at home. The five top tips show that it only takes a few simple measures to protect yourself and your family from winter-related illnesses and incidents.”
Dr Steve Mann, GP and Clinical Lead Dudley CCG said: “Encouraging people to keep warm and healthy during the winter is one of our key priorities, particularly for older residents and those that spend all day at home.
“The five top tips show that it only takes a few simple measures to protect yourself and your family from winter-related illnesses and incidents. People living in Dudley borough can access free help and support to stay warm and well by calling Dudley’s Winter Warmth Service on 01384 817086 ”
For more information on staying well this winter log onto www.nhs.uk/staywell