As the air starts to bite, the nights get darker and our thick coats emerge from the wardrobe, it's fair to say that the winter season is upon us. And whether you love it or hate it, that means it's time to start taking care of yourself and those around you, especially if you care for people who may be vulnerable to illness, accidents and loneliness this winter time.
This Self Care Week, many of the country's best loved celebrities are getting behind Public Health England's campaign to keep the nation well this winter. And to help us along, they've posed for a photograph in their wollies holding the letters W-I-N-T-E-R, each of which stand for an important action you and your family can make over the colder months.
- Warm: Keep your house warm this winter at least 18°C (65F)
- Immunisations: Get your flu vaccination. If you're over 65 and/or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person, you may be entitled to a free jab.
- Neighbours: Keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives
- Timely: Seek advice from a pharmacist at first sign of illness
- Enough: Pick up repeat prescriptions so you have enough while pharmacies/surgeries are closed
- Restock: Make sure you have enough food and medicine in the cupboard
Arlene Phillips, choreographer and former dance judge, who's backing the campaign, knows all too well how important this message is when it comes to looking after any older people you may be a carer for.
"Having taken care of my elderly father as he lived with dementia, I am fully aware of just how dangerous the winter can be, particularly for the people who are most vulnerable, like the elderly and those with long-term health conditions. This campaign encourages people to be prepared against the dangers of winter, and to look out for their elderly neighbours who might be alone and less able to take care of themselves this winter."
Celebrity Chef, Ainsley Harriott, added, "I think people sometimes forget about simple things that we can do to prepare for winter, which can make all the difference! It’s so easy, for instance, to stock up your cupboards with plenty of wholesome and healthy foods like tinned fruit, veg, fish and meat – which can go a long way to ensuring you’re well nourished on days when it’s too cold and icy to head to the shops."
For more tips on staying well, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell
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