Cold weather advice for over 65s to keep warm and well

The local NHS calling on older people in the city to take care in the cold, and offering tips on staying warm and well, after the Met Office warned freezing temperatures are expected in the City until at least the weekend.

Cold weather can seriously affect older peoples’ health; it has been estimated that nationally, for every degree change in the average weather temperature, there is a rise or fall in the number of deaths by approximately 8,000 older people. NHS Brighton and Hove CCG is offering five top tips to keep homes warm and keep healthy:

  1. Heat your home well - setting heating between 18-21ºC will keep homes warm home warm and lower bills.
  2. Eat well and have plenty of fluid - try to have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.
  3. Get a flu jab - flu jabs are still available to protect against seasonal flu from your GP if you are over 65, pregnant, or have a long-term health condition.
  4. Look after yourself and others - if you do need to, remember to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces and keep an eye the welfare of older relatives or neighbours.
  5. Stock up the medicine cabinet - include paracetamol, cold remedies, plasters, and a thermometer as a minimum.

Dr David Supple, Clinical Chair of Brighton and Hove CCG said: “As we get older, changes to our bodies mean that cold weather and winter bugs affect us more than they used to - for example, last year we saw 26 over 65 year olds ending up in hospital Brighton and Hove due to flu, with older patients having the majority of intensive care admissions in Sussex.

“We are asking older resident’s to look after themselves to stay warm and well, get the flu jab if they haven’t, and if you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during the winter to make sure they are safe and well.”

In order to reduce the impact of flu on local NHS services, residents and visitors to the city are being asked to make sure they use the right service for their medical needs, freeing up emergency care for those most in need.

The NHS Walk In Centre at Brighton Station is open 8am to 8pm for  treatment without appointments, NHS 111 is available all day every day and www.nhs.uk is available to check symptoms online around the clock.

A pharmacist can also help with flu, offering treatment advice and recommend flu remedies, and give guidance on giving medicines to children. No appointment necessary to see a local pharmacist and most have private consultation areas, and will say if you need further medical attention.