With temperatures dropping, people most at risk from cold weather are being urged to take action to help them stay well this winter.
People in ‘at risk’ groups include those with long term health conditions, pregnant women, children aged 2-4 and over 65s.
Chorley GP and Chair of Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Gora Bangi, said: “Exposure to cold temperatures increases blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart failure, kidney disease, stroke or dementia.
“In addition, cold can also affect the respiratory system, reducing the lungs’ ability to fight off infection, which can lead to bronchitis and pneumonia.”
“I would encourage people with long term conditions and those aged over 65 to seek advice at the first sign of illness, either from a pharmacist or a GP.
“Anyone who thinks they need to see a GP when their surgery is closed should call NHS 111 for advice, and if the trained operator thinks you need to see a GP, arrangements will be made to book you an appointment.
“And those who are in at risk groups should make sure they get their free flu jab, as flu can be particularly nasty for them.”
The practical steps people can take to help stay well include:
• Keeping the home heated to at least 18°C (65°F) where possible.
• Wearing several light layers.
• Eating regularly and having plenty of hot drinks.
• Maintaining a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home.
• Keeping an eye out for elderly relative or neighbours and supporting them during the cold weather.
• Wearing good-fitting slippers with a good grip indoors and shoes with a good grip outside to prevent slips, trips and falls.
• Keeping moving to help keep you warm. This can be as simple as getting up and walking around, making a hot drink and doing housework throughout the day. If walking is a problem try moving your arms and legs whilst sitting or wiggling your fingers and toes.
Visit www.nhs.uk/staywell for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.