Keeping healthy in winter months

Advice for Patients and Carers

The NHS have provided the following advice for patients and carers for keeping healthy during the cold winter months.

Flu vaccination

NHS website has information on the effects of flu; a vaccination is needed each year to give protection from the latest strain of flu. A flu jab is recommended if you are over the age of 65 or have other health concerns such as diabetes heart or respiratory problems. The Flu vaccination can be arranged with your GP. Click here for more information.

Arrangements for hot meals

The meals on wheels service provides hot meals and can be arranged through your local social services department. There is usually a charge; click here for further information.

Hearing

An over the phone hearing test is available from Action on Hearing Loss on 0844 800 3838 (local rate call), this is just an initial screening test and should be not be a substitute for a full hearing test.

GP’s can conduct short hearing tests and which will take about 15 minutes. A full hearing test can take up to an hour and your GP can refer you to a hospital clinic. For more information click here.

Vision

People over the age of 60 are entitled to free NHS sight tests and optical vouchers to help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses. More information can be found here.

Foot care

A GP can arrange free treatment through the NHS from a podiatrist or chiropodist if you have trouble looking after your feet, including anything from cutting toe nails, corns, blisters and bunions.

Your local Primary care trust can help you access routine foot care.

Keeping active

The NHS has a fact sheet on keeping active for older adults it is recommended that depending on health conditions and mobility both aerobic should be done for 2 hours per week and muscle-strengthening activity done over two days.

Care at home

Help can be provided at home through paid workers employed by your local authority to assist with nursing care at home and intermediate care. Financial support can be provided and more information can be found here.

Equipment can also be provided and help people to be more independent this can be accessed via Social Services community care assessment.

Charitable organisations

Home warmth

Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

NHS Choices has helpful tips to keep you & your home warm in the winter weather, how to travel safely in wintery conditions and links to the met office weather forecast.

Age UK has a guide for keeping warm and healthy during the winter months. The guide covers preparing for winter, staying healthy, keeping your home warm and what extra money people could be eligible for. It also covers a list of helpful organisations.

Carers Trust is a charity that provides breaks for carers, local schemes can offer local services to allow carers to take a break and know the person they look after is being cared for. Referrals can be made by carers, families of carers, your social services department, health workers and voluntary organisations.

Private Organisations

Care Watch is a private organisation that can help provide home care support in the community with domestic tasks, personal care and support for stroke or dementia rehabilitation. All of which can be provided in the persons home and is an alternative option to residential care and nursing homes.

Safety checks

Safety recommendations include:

  • Have a cordless phone /mobile on the person at all times
  • Make sure any external stairs have a hand rail fitted
  • Ensure rugs and mats are slip resistant and are stuck down to prevent trips or falls
  • Secure any hazardous wires and remove clutter from walkways
  • Make sure adequate lighting is installed
  • Dressing or mobility aids, and trolleys may help people to move around more easily
  • Check fire & carbon monoxide alarms are installed and working correctly. The fire brigade may be able to fit and check free fire alarms.

Medication and prescriptions

Drug Reviews, medication updates and medical records should be discussed with your GP.

Prescription home delivery service will be provide by most pharmacies who will collect and then deliver your medication often for a small nominal charge for delivery. Pharmacies include Rowlands, Lloyds and Boots.

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