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Stay well this winter

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Stay well this winter

It’s important to look after yourself, especially during winter. Cold weather can be bad for your health. However, there are some simple things you can do to prepare for winter and keep warm and healthy.


Looking after your health this winter

Get your flu jab and be a #flufighter

Flu vaccine is the best protection we have against the flu virus. Flu symptoms can be unpleasant, severe and, in extreme circumstances, life threatening.

People in the below groups are eligible for a free flu vaccination:

  • over 65s
  • Pregnant women
  • People with a long-term health condition including diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, a lowered immune system and chest or heart problems
  • Children aged 2-8 years (children in reception year and above will be offered the vaccination via a nasal spray at school)
  • Carers
  • People living in long-term residential care

Contact your GP or your local pharmacy for details of how to book your flu appointment.

You can find more about the flu vaccination on NHS Choices.


Eat well and stay active

Exercising and having regular hot meals can help with staying warm over the winter. Find out more information about healthy eating and free cookery workshops in Medway on the triforyoumedway Facebook page.

For recipe ideas, why not try our winter recipes.

What to do if you are feeling unwell

These NHS top tips can help you avoid common winter illnesses such as colds and winter bugs:

  • Visit your pharmacist for advice at the at the first sign of illness
  • Feeling under the weather? The NHS Health Help Now website and app can help you to find the right service in Medway for your health needs
  • If you need help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency, call 111 - the NHS's non-emergency helpline, available all year round.  Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
  • Call 999 in a medical emergency 
  • Pick up your prescriptions and medicines before the holidays start


Staying warm at home

These tips can help keep you warm and well at home while also helping to reduce your energy bills:

  • See if you're eligible for any help from the government to make your home more energy efficient
  • Find out if you could save money on your energy bills with a different provider
  • Reduce your energy use with simple hints and tips from the energy saving trust 

You can find their top ten 'quick wins' for reducing your energy use.


Staying warm at home: financial help

If you need help staying warm this winter, you may be eligible for financial help from the government.  This includes:

  • Winter fuel payment
  • Cold weather payment
  • See if you are eligible for a discount on your electricity bill with the government’s Warm Homes Discount scheme 


Staying warm at home: tips and advice

These tips can help keep you warm and well at home:

  • If you're not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C
  • Keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep the bedroom window closed
  • To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C
  • If you're under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18C
  • Draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • Make sure you get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional


Looking after your community this winter

Older neighbours, relatives and friends may need a bit of extra help in winter, particularly in periods of cold weather. One way of support is by keeping in touch. Check if they are feeling under the weather, and help them make sure they have enough supplies of food and medicines.

Find out more on how older people can stay connected in Medway, including community transport, befriending and courses.