Staying well this winter
Published: 25 October 2019
Simple steps to staying well this winter
While the autumn has generally been mild, we still need to look ahead to the winter months and make sure we're doing all we can to stay healthy when the temperature drops.
This is important because some people, including people aged over 65 or those with long-term health problems, can be particularly vulnerable to common winter illnesses. These can then lead to more serious problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you're healthy over the winter.
- Have a flu vaccine - this is particularly important for those who are at increased risk from the effects of flu, these include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with long term health conditions – who get the vaccination for free. The flu vaccine is also free for children aged two or three (on 31 August 2019) and primary school aged children. The vaccine is given as a nasal spray rather than an injection. For more information visit the NHS website.
- At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it's just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious.
- Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer. The Healthy Surrey website has links to organisations that give grants for replacement boilers and insulation, and more details about eligibility for the winter fuel and cold weather payments.
- If you're out and about, wrap up by wearing several thin layers of clothes, which is more effective at keeping you warm. Wear shoes with a good grip, to prevent falls and trips.
- If you need medication, make sure you request any repeat prescriptions in good time – that includes in the run up to Christmas as many doctors and pharmacies will be closed during the festive period.
- Speak to a pharmacist about stocking up your medicine cabinet, just in case.
- Get to know your neighbours – just in case you need their help if the weather turns.
For full information about staying well this winter, go to the Healthy Surrey website.
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