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Help Look After Vulnerable Friends and Relatives This Winter

Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (MECCG) is encouraging everyone to lend a helping hand to vulnerable people this winter.

The elderly and those with long-term health conditions are particularly susceptible at this time of year to further illnesses and are often isolated.

Dr Donald McGeachy, Medical Director at MECCG said: “Anyone can help elderly friends or relatives by checking on them regularly, particularly during cold weather spells.

“Ensure their home is warm and they have everything they need to manage during the cold spell.

“Picking up shopping or medicines for them during bad weather can make all the difference and could prevent them having to leave the house themselves and risk a fall.”

Here are some tips for helping a vulnerable person over winter:

  • Drop in on an older neighbour or friend once a week – more often if the weather turns very cold.
  • Make sure their home is heated to at least 18°C to 21°C in winter.
  • Encourage them to get heating and cooking appliances safety checked and keep their home well ventilated.
  • Ensure the person you are looking in on is eating well and has the essentials as well as meals and soups in the cupboard.
  • Ask if you can collect any prescriptions or take the person to the GP for any appointments.
  • If it snows, clear their path or door areas for them.

If they do start to feel ill, encourage them to visit a pharmacist for advice and treatment if needed. If you are unsure of where to go or who to speak to, call NHS111 for advice and access to services.

For more information on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell