Page updated: 07 Feb 2012
Winter can be tough on everyone’s health, but the elderly and vulnerable people in the community in particular are at risk of illness and injuries. Often, these are preventable by following some simple health and wellbeing advice.
Warm and Healthy Trafford
NHS Trafford, Trafford Council and voluntary organisations in the borough have set up the Warm and Healthy Trafford Helpline to offer free support to vulnerable residents.
Helpline: 0161 848 2409
SMS Text: 07785 714 740
Click here to find out if Warm and Healthy Trafford can help you.
Keep warm, keep well
Living in a cold home can aggravate existing health problems and encourage colds and flu, so keep your home heated to the optimum temperature (18 to 21 degrees Celsius or 64 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit) and wear several light layers indoors to help keep you warm.
Eating well can help stave off illnesses, and healthy carbohydrates like rice, pasta, potatoes and wholegrain bread are all good winter energy sources. Aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and hot meals and drinks can help to keep you warm. Stock your cupboards and freezer with basic food items in case it’s too cold to go shopping.
Exercise might seem like the last thing you want to do on those dark winter evenings, but it’s important to keep moving. Not only does it keep you warm, it can also lift your mood and improve your mental wellbeing too. It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous – a walk to the shops (weather permitting!), housework or even gardening all count as exercise.
Insulating your home can have huge benefits on both the temperature and also heating bills. Grants are available for household insulation and many people are also entitled to help with winter heating costs. Find out more by visiting www.getmetoasty.com or contacting the Energy Saving Trust directly on 0800 512 012.
Get your flu jab!
Seasonal flu happens every year, and is a highly infectious disease that spreads easily from person to person. Healthy adults who catch the virus should begin to feel better within four to five days.
Those in an ‘at-risk’ group, including over 65s, pregnant women and those with long-term conditions, can find it harder to fight off flu, and will be offered a seasonal flu vaccine. Anyone in these groups who has not yet had their vaccine should contact their GP to make an appointment as soon as possible.
Reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls
During icy conditions, there is a higher risk of injury from slips, trips and falls. Take extra care if you do have to go out, and anyone with walking difficulties should remain indoors until the ice has cleared. Keep an eye on vulnerable neighbours at this time, and offer assistance to those you think might be in need.
It's also important to ensure that the home is clear of slip and trip hazards. Simple thing like removing loose rugs with curling edges, being careful of dressing gown cords and making sure you don't walk around in the dark can all help to reduce falls.
Choose the right treatment
Click here to find out more about choosing the right treatment at the right time.
Keep warm, keep well
Get me toasty
NHS Choices - falls prevention page
NHS Choices - winter health tips
Department of Health - cold weather plan