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Get advice from the NHS on how to ward off common winter illnesses
Winter should be about crisp winter walks, beautiful sunsets, festive cheer… it shouldn’t be about coughs and colds.
This winter, we want to help you stay fit and healthy, no matter what the weather. So fight off the winter bugs with our top health tips.
The NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign is urging people aged 65 or over, or those with long-term health conditions, such as COPD, diabetes, stroke, heart disease or respiratory illness, to prepare for winter with advice on how to ward off common illnesses.
And if you're a relative, a carer or a close friend of someone aged 65 or over, please ensure they are prepared for the winter.
These are the recommendations from the NHS:
· If you start to feel unwell, at the first sign of a winter respiratory illness, even if it is just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious.
· Pick up prescription medications before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays.
· Don’t put off getting the flu vaccination. If you’re eligible get it now. It’s free because you need it.
· Do you suffer from breathlessness? Find out if you are eligible for a free flu jab.
· It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.
· Make sure you speak to your pharmacists about medicines you should have in stock to help get you and your family through the winter season.
· Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re entitled to; find out about financial help and discounts to help you pay for heating at www.gov.uk/phe/keep-warm
· Keeping an eye out for elderly relatives and neighbours and supporting them in the cold weather can help them Stay Well This Winter.
· The Stay Well This Winter campaign can help you prepare for winter. Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more information.
· If you have a long-term health condition like: COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes or heart or kidney disease, you’ll know that running out of prescription medication can be a serious problem. Make sure you pick up prescription medications before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays.
· If you feel like you are getting a cough or cold on top of your existing condition, get help from your pharmacist before it gets more serious.