Research for Age UK* has shown that nearly a million people in the UK feel lonelier at Christmas and City of York Council is urging residents to think of vulnerable friends and neighbours this winter.
The cold weather can have a significant impact on people’s physical and mental health and with the cold and icy conditions vulnerable people can tend to stay at home.
Top tips for supporting older vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives, include:
- Make sure they’re warm enough – the temperature in their home should be at least 18°C, particularly if they are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over, and they may need to wear several layers of clothes to stay warm
- If they haven’t already encourage them to have their flu jab. They may be eligible for a free vaccination, for more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell
- Make sure they are well stocked up on food, drink and medicines they may need and try to make sure they have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
- Make sure they have their prescription medications collected in time for Christmas
- Information about social groups and activities for older people is available through www.livewellyork.co.uk or by contacting Age UK York on 01904 627995.
- Help to clear snow and ice to reduce the risk of slips and falls when leaving home. The council has over 200 snow wardens, for more information on how you can help visit www.york.gov.uk/snowwardens
- For more information about Age UK’s national Spread the Warmth campaign visit www.ageuk.org.uk or see www.york.gov.uk/winter more information about keeping well during winter.
The council is also reminding people of its top tips to stay well this winter:
- At the first sign of a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist
- Speak to your pharmacist about important medicines you should have in stock
- It is important to keep warm in winter, so heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F)
- Make sure you get your flu jab from your GP or pharmacy
- For information and advice visit www.nhs.uk/staywell