Somerset’s GPs are reminding people to keep warm and well this week, especially the elderly and people living with asthma or chronic lung disease whose health is put at risk in cold weather.
With a Met Office Yellow Weather Warning that affects much of England over the week, temperatures are predicted to fall significantly with the risk of snow.
Dr Ed Ford, a GP and Chairman of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“If you or a relative are vulnerable to asthma and long-term breathing problems please keep yourself and them warm and well. Family doctors, our district hospitals and community services are already seeing very high numbers of people become ill and admitted to hospital.
“If you have asthma or long-term health problems please take some sensible precautions, like staying indoors on the coldest days, keeping rooms heated to at least 18 degrees centigrade, drinking plenty of warm drinks and having some over-the -counter cold or flu remedies in the home. Friends and neighbours can help by checking on the elderly and vulnerable and offering to collect food from a local shop.”
To keep you and your family warm and well, follow these tips:
- If you're not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C (65F)
- Keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep the bedroom window closed
- During the day you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer than 18C
- Wear several layers of clothes– cotton, wool or fleecy fibres
- Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed (but not both at once)
- Have at least one hot meal a day –and make sure you have hot drinks regularly
- Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so indoors – get up and stretch your legs
- Stay active – even moderate exercise can help keep you warm
- Outdoors wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth – wear a hat and shoes with grip
If you start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or cold, don't wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist or check online at https://111.nhs.uk
For more advice on how to keep warm and keep well this winter visit the NHS web site: https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/winterhealth/pages/keepwarmkeepwell.aspx