East Staffordshire CCG is encouraging families and carers to keep a close eye on their loved ones to prevent thousands of people dying prematurely from the cold this winter.
This winter, 24,000 older people could die prematurely - that’s nearly 200 preventable deaths a day, more than eight per hour, or one person every seven minutes.
Winter conditions can be bad for your health, particularly for those aged 65 and over or those who have a long term condition. So keeping warm over the winter months is important to help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
Dr Charles Pidsley, local GP and Chair of East Staffs CCG, said: “Making sure you and your loved ones are looking after themselves properly and taking medication as prescribed if they need it is really important. Also check that they are eating well, taking exercise and seeing others for mental and physical health and wellbeing.
“With the weather getting colder make sure that those you care for have a warm home. This should be at least 18 degrees. Windows should be kept closed at night.
“When the weather is particularly bad make sure you check up them and advise them not to go out. It helps to make sure they have a well-stocked medicine cabinet too, so that they can manage common minor ailments at home.
“If they do become ill make sure they seek help and advice from their pharmacy straight away before symptoms gets worse. This will help them recover much quicker and avoid an unwanted stay in hospital.”
If you need to speak to the NHS urgently call 111. They can advise you on the best course of action.
Access self-care advice and information on the right NHS services at www.nhs.uk/staywell