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Help look after vulnerable friends and relatives this winter

As the weather turns colder, public health chiefs in Wolverhampton are encouraging everyone to lend a helping hand to vulnerable people this winter.

The elderly and those with long term health conditions are particularly susceptible at this time of year to illnesses and are often isolated.

The Met Office has this week issued the second of what is likely to be many cold weather alerts this winter, saying there is a 60% risk of overnight frost and freezing fog patches across the West Midlands from 9am on Thursday until midnight on Friday night.

Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "As temperatures drop, it's important that we all keep an even closer eye on our more vulnerable members of society.

"Anyone can help elderly friends or relatives by checking on them regularly, ensuring their home is warm and they have everything they need to manage during the cold spell.

"Picking up shopping or medicines for them during bad weather can make all the difference and could prevent vulnerable people from having to leave the house themselves and risk a fall."

Top tips for helping a vulnerable person over winter include:

  • dropping in on an older neighbour or friend once a week - or more often if the weather turns cold
  • making sure their home is heated to at least 18°C to 21°C in winter
  • encouraging vulnerable people to get heating and cooking appliances safety checked and to keep their home well ventilated
  • ensuring the person they are looking in on is eating well and has the essentials as well as meals and soups in the cupboard
  • asking if they can collect any prescriptions or take the person to the GP for appointments
  • encouraging older and vulnerable people who feel unwell to visit a pharmacist or call NHS 111 for advice.

Stay Well This Winter contains useful advice on staying warm and keeping healthy during the cold weather.

The Met Office forecast for Wolverhampton can be found at The Met Office.

  • released: Monday 31 December, 2018