The NHS 'Stay Well This Winter' campaign helps those with long-term health conditions, those over 65, pregnant women and parents of under-7's to stay well, and keep their loved ones well, during winter months. It has tips on:

  • seeking immediate advice and help from a pharmacist as soon as you feel unwell, before it gets too serious
  • getting prescriptions before 24 December so you're not without essential medication over the festive period
  • completing a course of prescription medicines
  • stocking up on winter food supplies
  • keeping an eye on elderly or frail friends, neighbours and relatives
  • getting a flu vaccination

Tips to help you self care and stay well this winter

GPs across York have shared their tips on dealing with a range of ailments and what you can do to stay well this winter.

The NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) video playlist offers a range of tips on:

Other winter health advice

Winter flu vaccination

If you're eligible, getting your free annual flu jab is a good way to keep yourself healthy during winter. For more information about flu vaccines, contact your GP surgery.

You'll need a flu jab each year because the viruses that cause flu change. Remember, even if you don’t have flu-like symptoms, you can still pass on flu to other people; older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions are at particular risk of severe illness, if they catch flu.

Eat well

Food is a vital source of energy that helps to keep your body warm. Make sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day, and keep active in the home if you can.

Visit NHS Choices for further ideas and information.

Wear warm clothes

Wrap up warm, inside and out. Layering clothing helps you stay warm as air is trapped between layers, keeping you insulated. Wearing layers of cotton or fleecy clothes is particularly effective.

Wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside and wear a hat or head scarf. If possible, stay inside during a cold spell if you have heart or respiratory problems. When indoors, wear well-fitting slippers with fleecy linings to keep your feet warm and to help prevent falls.

To keep warm when inside you could try:

  • using a covered hot water bottle or electric blanket (but not at the same time!) to keep warm in bed
  • wearing bed socks, thermal or warm night clothes

Keeping your home warm

Cold homes have a significant impact on your health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm.

If you have reduced mobility, are aged 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should:

  • heat your home to at least 18oC
  • keep your bedroom at 18oC all night

If you're aged under 65 and healthy, you can safely heat your home to cooler than 18oC as long as you're comfortable.

Reducing fuel bills

See more about affordable warmth and how to save money by saving energy.

Cold weather benefits

You may be able to claim financial help for heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel payment and Cold Weather payment.

You’ll need to claim them if you’ve not had them before, and if any of the following apply:

  • you don’t get benefits or a State Pension
  • you only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit
  • you get benefits or a State Pension but live in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland

A fitter you in 2018

Whatever your age or ability, being active is important for physical and mental wellbeing and can be a great way to meet new people.

You can start with as little as 10 minutes per day and build up from there, working towards the recommended 150 minutes of exercise each week. There’s a wide range of different ways to become more active in York; these include enjoying a health walk, fitness class, a swim or joining one of the 300 voluntary sports clubs. See our Sports and leisure pages for more information.

Supporting vulnerable people

We’re urging you to think of vulnerable friends and neighbours over the winter period.

Top tips for supporting older or vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives:

  • make sure they’re warm enough; the temperature in their home should be at least 18oC, particularly if they are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over - they may need to wear several layers of clothes to stay warm
  • try to make sure they have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day
  • check they have enough medication to last whilst their GP practice is closed
  • contact Age UK York for information about social groups and activities for older people

Christmas can also be a particularly difficult time for people living with dementia. For information about how to support people with dementia over the festive period, visit Alzheimer's UK. You can also find out more about helping older people who may be suffering in cold weather via Age UK’s Spread the Warmth campaign.

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