Winter conditions can drastically affect our health, especially for elderly people with long-term conditions such as heart or kidney disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, asthma or diabetes.
When they live in a cold environment, there is hight risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any pre-existing medical condition and make them more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses.
All those who are at greater risk from the COVID-19 and flu viruses should take the extra protection offered by NHS by vaccination this winter. If you’re aged 50 or over, or a carer, you’re eligible for a free flu jab and an autumn COVID-19 booster this winter.
We all know that flu can be serious for these groups and it may lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and sometimes it can be even deadly. All of those that have a hight risk medical condition should be getting their flu and COVID-19 vaccines in order to keep themselves and others around safe this winter.
We should all check on how our elderly family members are keeping warm this winter, and first step is to explain to them that keeping warm helps to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
Second step is to advise them to heat their home to a comfortable temperature which should be at least 18°C in the rooms that they regularly use, such as your living room and bedroom.
Ask and check that they have enough food supplies and medicine, in case they can’t go out. If they need to go out in the cold,please encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect them from the cold air, and to reduce their risk of chest infections and to wear several layers of clothing rather than one thicker layer.. Icy pavements and roads can be very slippery, and cold weather can stop people from getting out and about.
We should remind them to rest, drink plenty of fluids, have at least one hot meal a day to keep their energy levels up and ask for help when they need it.