Cold weather is here, and at times like this it’s important to keep yourself, and the people around you – warm, safe and well.
Spells of cold weather can put vulnerable people at risk. This includes the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, and young children at risk from a range of conditions. This is because cold weather forces their bodies to work much harder than usual.
Top tips to prepare for cold weather
- Look out for other people – Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold. Ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately.
- Keep warm – Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C. Particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.
- Benefits – Seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments if you are eligible. In Telford, eligible households can reduce their energy costs and implement free-of-charge measures, such as fitting energy-saving LED bulbs or heat reflectors. If you haven’t got a central heating system, you could also be referred for one for free through LEAP, check if you are eligible.
- Flu jab – Flu can be horrible for young children, the elderly and the vulnerable. Make sure you get vaccinated if you are in an at risk group.
- Stock your medicine cabinet – Keep a fully stocked medicine cabinet with all these essentials.
- Feeling unwell – If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious. Local pharmacies can offer fast and convenient clinical advice for a wide range of minor health concerns. No appointment needed.
- Health advice – If you have an urgent medical concerns call NHS 111. The team can access a nurse, emergency dentist, or even a GP.
- Keep updated – stay tuned for weather forecasts. Use this information to plan ahead and ensure you and people you are looking after are stocked with food and medications. Take the waether into account when planning your activity over the following days.
Keep warm, Keep well
Here’s a bunch of advice that you can follow to help people keep well over this cold spell.
- Stay well this winter – NHS advice to help those people who are most at risk of illness during winter to take steps to stay well, including make sure you get your flu jab. Pharmacies offer flu vaccinations in Shropshire.
- Keep well and warm – Government advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle and heating.
- Road gritting – Check for updates on where and when gritters are out in Telford & Wrekin.
- Get Ready for Winter – Met Office advice and information of the dangers posed by winter weather. Get tips and advice on how to minimise its impact.
- Norovirus – Everything you need to know on how to treat, spot the signs, and limit the spread of Norovirus.
- Winter advice for older people– advice and information from Age UK.
- Travel updates– travel updates from Highways England.
- School closures– updates of any school closures in Telford & Wrekin.
- Driving in snow– Advice from the RAC to prepare yourself before embarking on a journey in the snow.
Homelessness in cold weather
You can notify Maninplace on 01952 248248 24/7 if you have concerns about anyone who is sleeping rough. They offer advice and support based on an individuals’ needs.
Locally, the YMCA, STAY and Maninplace are key charities who who all support rough sleepers and the homeless. A donation can be made that is divided equally between the three charities.
By Thomas Cox
Editor of Healthy Telford