We can all help vulnerable people in Norfolk Stay Well This Winter
Every winter in Norfolk more people fall ill or injure themselves than during any other time of the year, resulting in around 620 additional people dying compared to the summer – and many of these deaths are preventable. The national Stay Well This Winter campaign aims to make people aware of what they can do to keep themselves and their family, friends and neighbours in good health during the colder months.
In Norfolk, the campaign is being led by Norfolk County Council Public Health, with support from Community Action Norfolk, the NHS clinical commissioning groups, district councils.
The campaign encourages everyone in Norfolk to do five things that will help prevent vulnerable people being put at risk this winter:
- Encourage people who are eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS to get it. Eligibility for the flu jab, and how to get it, can be checked at www.nhs.uk/flujab.
- Ensure your home or a vulnerable person’s home is well-heated and insulated – living in cold, damp or mouldy rooms can affect your health, exacerbate long-term health conditions and increase the chance of stroke and heart attack, among other illnesses.
- Keep warm by wearing lots of layers, moving around regularly if possible and eating hot meals and drinking hot drinks.
- Check in on people you know who may struggle in the winter, particularly during periods of very cold, icy or snowy weather, and consider offering them what support you can to help them cope. If you think someone’s safety is at risk, contact Norfolk County Council on 0344 800 8020. In an emergency always ring 999.
- Some people, particularly older people, may be at extra risk of injury from falling during the winter, with ice and the cold’s effects on conditions such as osteoarthritis contributing. Reduce the chance of falling over and resulting injury by strengthening muscles through exercise (a programme of sitting exercises can be found on the NHS website) and by having well-fitting footwear with good grip on the sole – in both shoes and slippers.
As well as promoting advice and useful information, Norfolk County Council has joined with Community Action Norfolk* to create a Stay Well This Winter fund, which is open for applications now. Grants of up to £1,000 are available to support voluntary groups and charities that work to assist vulnerable people in their local community who face particular hardship over the winter months. For more information and to apply to the Stay Well This Winter fund, visit http://www.norfolkfoundation.com/funds/stay-well-this-winter-fund/.
For more information about Stay Well This Winter, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/staywellthiswinter.