Cold weather kills 182 people in Cambridgeshire each year, with the elderly most at risk

care-for-the-elderly

- Credit: Archant

An average of 182 deaths in Cambridgeshire each year are linked to the cold weather, with the elderly particularly vulnerable.

With temperatures due to fall below freezing, the Met Office issuing a cold weather warning.

Dr Liz Robin, director of public health for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Cold snaps can be life threatening if you are elderly and frail or if you have an ongoing health condition.

“You are more susceptible to colds, flu, pneumonia and circulatory problems when the weather is cold, and icy ground can cause people to fall and break bones.

“Please take notice of these simple tips to help you or a vulnerable relative or neighbour to stay well, over the forecast period of cold weather.”


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Dr Fiona Head of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s important that patients with long term conditions, who are old or vulnerable keep themselves well hydrated and eat well. If you are concerned call 111.”

Cambridgeshire County Council have issued a set of instructions on keeping warm and safe this winter.

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1. Heat your home well

By setting your heating to the right temperature, a minimum of 18C (65F) day and night, you can keep your home warm and your bills as low as possible.

2. Get financial support

There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. It’s worthwhile claiming all the benefits you are entitled to. To find out about grants, services and organisations that call help you, your family or neighbour, call 0345 650 0280.

3. Eat well and have plenty of fluids

Food is a vital source of energy which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.

4. Get a flu jab

People are more likely to catch flu in cold weather. It’s not too late to get a free flu vaccination if you are: aged over 65, pregnant, aged six months to under 65 years with an on-going illness such as a heart or lung condition or are a carer. Flu jabs are available from your GP or some local pharmacists. All children aged two, three and four years are also entitled to a flu immunisation delivered by nasal spray at their GP Practice.

5. Look after yourself

Keeping active is important for your health. If you do go out in cold weather it is important that you wear extra clothes to make sure that you are wrapped up warmly. During very cold and icy weather conditions it is safer for older people, very young children, and anyone with health problems to avoid going out where possible.

6. Look after your family and neighbours If you have an older or vulnerable relative or neighbour look out for them during winter to ensure that they are warm and safe and avoid the need for additional medical care.

More advice about staying healthy during cold weather is available on the winter health pages of NHS Choices at http://www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx

See list of local pharmacies providing flu vaccination jabs at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/3288/pharmacies_providing_flu_vaccines_on_nhs

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