As colder weather sweeps across Essex this week, NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (MECCG) 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 long term conditions.
Dr Caroline Dollery, a local GP and Chair of MECCG said: “Encouraging people keep warm and healthy during the winter is extremely important as well as caring for those who need extra support at this time of year.
“When temperatures drop and weather gets extreme, please take some time to check on a neighbour or relative and make sure they are warm and well.”
Top five tips to keep warm and well:
1. 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.
2. Wear sensible clothing when outdoors
Wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth when outdoors – add a hat and wear shoes with a good grip, too. If you have a heart or respiratory problem like asthma or COPD, stay indoors during very cold weather – check our #Scarfie for more top tips.
3. 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.
4. 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. 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.
5. 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
If you’re worried about a relative or elderly neighbour you contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1174 (8am-7pm every day).
If you’re concerned that the person may be suffering from hypothermia you should contact NHS 111.