8 Steps To A Healthier Winter

STAYING well during cold months isn’t too difficult when you know what to do. If you follow this advice from Public Health Liverpool, take simple precautions and act quickly if you become ill then you should be able to look forward to a healthy and safe winter.Have all your vaccinationsEveryone with a long-term condition is eligible for a free flu vaccine. It’s important that you get yours, even if you feel healthy. You will need one every year, otherwise you won’t be protected. Pneumonia vaccinations are also available to most people with long term conditions but you will only need to have this once in your life. Ask the receptionist at your GP practice to arrange these vaccinations for you.Avoid people with colds and fluIf you know someone with an infection, it’s a good idea to avoid them until they’re better and if you get ill make sure you’re treated quickly.Make sure you take your medicationsIt’s important that you take your regular medications as prescribed. Make sure you stay on top of your repeat prescriptions through your GP practice, leaving plenty of time ahead of weekends and public holidays like Christmas.If you are prescribed antibiotics it’s very important that you finish the whole course, even if you start to feel better.Healthy Liverpool AdKeep your house warmA cold house can make some conditions worse, especially respiratory conditions like COPD and asthma, as well as arthritis, rheumatism and cardiovascular disease.It’s important to make sure that your house is warm, it’s recommend keeping the main room of your house heated to at least 21 degrees for 9 hours a day. If you’re struggling to do this, you may be eligible for financial support to help you.Be aware of the weather and wrap up warmKeep an eye on the weather forecasts to see when it’s going to be cold and damp. Try to reduce the number of times you go out when it’s very cold (less than 4 degrees) by doing things like stocking up on your shopping. If you do need to go out, stay warm by wearing a coat, hat and scarf. Non-slip footwear can also help to avoid falls.Eat regular hot mealsStay warm with regular hot meals made up of vegetables such as soups and stews and try to have lots of hot drinks throughout the day.Be prepared for coughs and coldsMake sure you’re ready for minor illnesses by keeping a well-stocked medicine cupboard at home for the winter months. Ask your local pharmacist for advice on what to include.Know your warning signsIt’s important to act quickly if your condition worsens. Make sure you know how to spot and deal with problems early. Ask your practice nurse about developing a plan for this. This may include a rescue pack including antibiotics and steroids. It’s important that you understand when to use this and to notify your GP and practice nurse when you do.For more help and support you can contact the following:Careline This is your first port of call on matters relating to social care. Call 0151 233 3800Healthy Homes offers free help and advice on improving your home for the good of your health Call 0800 0121 754 or visit www.liverpool.gov.uk/healthyhomesHealthwatch If you wish to find out more about what information, services and activities are available to help you manage your health needs call 0300 77 77 007 or visit www.livewellliverpool.infoAge Concern Liverpool & Sefton Call 0151 330 5678 or visit www.ageconcernliverpoolandsefton.org.ukHandyperson Service This service provides help with household maintenance, repairs and tidying your garden for Liverpool residents aged 50+ of if you have a disability. The service is free – you just pay for the cost of materials. Call 0151 295 6102