The local NHS Foundation Trust in Calderdale is supporting the national NHS ‘Keep Warm, Keep Well’ campaign, which is aimed at vulnerable groups during the winter months.
The health improvement service is part of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides a range of community, mental health and learning disability services to the people of Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.
Taking steps to keep warm isn’t just for when you are heading outside. Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health and one of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm. Being warm and well during winter can keep coughs and colds at bay, but can also protect you from serious illnesses such as pneumonia. The chances of these problems are higher if you’re vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because of one or more of the following: • you’re over 60 • you’re on a low income (so can’t afford heating) • you have a long-term health condition such as heart disease • you are disabled
Judy Stewart, a health improvement specialist in Calderdale, said, "More than 30,000 older people die every year unnecessarily during the winter months and many more vulnerable people will suffer because of the cold. However, there are lots of things we can all do at home to keep healthy and warm to avoid any associated illnesses and lots of help available locally."
Follow these top five tips to stay warm and well this winter:
1. Heat your home well. By setting your heating timer control and thermostat to the right temperature you can keep your home warm and your bills as low as possible.
2. Get financial support. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. Financial help, such as the Winter Fuel Payment, is available to people finding it hard to meet their heating costs. To find out more, call 0845 915 1515. Free and discounted loft and cavity wall fibre insulation is also available through Calderdale Council, subject to application and survey on 0845 245 6000 or email email@example.com
3. Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly.
4. Get a flu jab. You can get a free jab from your GP to protect against seasonal flu if you are over 65, have a long-term health condition or are pregnant.
5. Look after yourself and others. On cold days try to avoid going outside; however, if you do need to, remember to wrap up warm. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during winter to make sure that they are safe and well.
You can find out more about the ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ campaign at www.nhs.uk/Livewell