Looking after your health becomes especially important in winter says Age Scotland’s Anna Stevenson.
With the clocks going back and the temperature starting to drop it’s time to accept that winter is well and truly upon us. Take a look at our Spread the Warmth campaign and our Hot Tips calendar which offers advice on how to plan and prepare for the winter months to help you stay safe and warm while it’s cold outside.
Now is also the time to think about how to stay healthy during the colder months. The winter months are often referred to as ‘flu season’ due to the increased prevalence of the flu virus around this time of year. So, if you’re 65 or over, make sure you go to your GP and get your free seasonal flu jab to give yourself the best chance of preventing flu from affecting you.
It is also recommended you get vaccinated if you have conditions such as diabetes, chronic heart, lung, liver or kidney problems, Parkinson’s or have had a stroke. During winter, bad weather and shorter days can mean it may be difficult to get out and about and keep in touch with friends and family and this might lead to you feeling isolated and down. This is not unusual but if these feelings become overwhelming don’t ignore them. Go and talk to your GP and they can discuss options that can help you to feel better during this time.
Hypothermia is another condition associated with the cold winter months, occurring when our body temperature drops below the normal range due to exposure to the cold. To prevent it, try not to stay outside for long periods of time when it’s very cold and when you’re inside keep your heating on and wear lots of layers of clothes to help you keep warm. Using hot water bottles and electric blankets is also a good idea and drinking lots of hot drinks and eating hot meals will help you stave off the cold. Why not ring our Helpline on 0845 125 9732 and request one of our free thermometers. These can help you monitor the temperature of the rooms in your house so you can keep them the right temperature to stay safe and warm.
These are just a few tips to help you to stay healthy this winter. For more information and advice on these issues take a look at our useful links below. We will soon be able to provide you with more information on your health and wellbeing on our website as we are in the process of updating the information there. In order to make the information valuable to you we’d like to hear your opinions on what you’d like to see there. Follow this link to an online questionnaire where you can give us your feedback on the health information you’d like. The link is also available on our social media channels. We would really appreciate it if you could take the time to fill it in and let us know what you think so we can create health and wellbeing information that is valuable to you.