Look out for the elderly and vulnerable this winter

FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL
PRESS RELEASE

November 14, 2017

Look out for the elderly and vulnerable this winter

Fenland residents are being encouraged to look out for elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours this winter – and help make sure they don’t suffer in silence.
Older people and those with long-term health conditions are particularly susceptible to illness and isolation at this time of year, yet it can sometimes be difficult for those at risk to admit they need help.

With winter fast approaching, Fenland District Council and its partners are urging people to look out for those who may struggle as the temperatures drop as part of the national NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign.

People can help make a difference to elderly and vulnerable people they may know by following these top tips:

  • Drop in to see them and check if they are well at least once a week – and more often if the weather turns very cold.
  • Encourage those who haven’t had a flu vaccination to get one – it’s free for people aged over 65 and with long-term health conditions.
  • Check if they are feeling well. If they are feeling ill, encourage them to visit their local pharmacist or GP without delay – and give them a lift if you can.
  • Offer to collect any prescriptions they need or take them to their GP for any appointments.
  • Tell them to call 111 if they feel unwell when GP surgeries and pharmacies are closed – a trained NHS health care adviser will be able to help them.
  • Make sure their home is heated to at least 18°C throughout the winter.
  • Ensure they are eating well and have a good supply of food – and offer to help them with shopping if they struggle with mobility.
  • If it snows, clear their path, front steps or doorway areas for them.

Information packs with advice on how to stay warm and well during the winter have been distributed to GP surgeries across Cambridgeshire as part of the campaign, including Trinity Surgery in Wisbech and New Queen Street Surgery in Whittlesey.

The packs, which include a room thermometer, are also available at Fenland District Council’s four @ Your Service shops and community hubs, and at the Golden Age Fair, the Council’s popular event for the over 60s, being held at March Braza Club on December 4.

Councillor Mike Cornwell, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “Winter can be a very isolating time, preventing people from seeing friends and family and going about their daily lives as normal. This can impact on people’s health and wellbeing in so many ways, making them more likely to become unwell or injure themselves.

“Older people, those with long-term health conditions and people who live in poor quality housing, are particularly vulnerable during the winter, and many of those sometimes find it
difficult to ask for help. If we all look out for our vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours, we can make a huge difference to how people in Fenland get through the winter.”

The Stay Well This Winter campaign in Cambridgeshire is being supported by Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council, district councils, the voluntary sector, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

For more information on staying warm and well this winter, including grants available to help people if they are struggling financially, call 0345 6500 280, or visit the Golden Age Fair.