As the weather turns colder and wetter, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is offering useful winter healthcare guidance and advice to support local people and their families in staying well over the winter months and beyond.
As part of the NHS’s ‘Help Us Help You’ winter campaign the Care Trust has a range of self-care information on its ‘stay well’ web pages including general winter wellness tips together with advice on preventing flu, keeping little ones well, foot health, mental wellbeing and other top tips.
Winter weather can cause problems for the over ’65s or for people with a long-term condition such as diabetes, or a heart or respiratory condition like asthma, so it’s important that people in these groups have the information they need to spot the signs of illness and treat them early.
First point of call for minor illnesses, such as sore throats, coughs, colds, upset stomach and aches should be the local pharmacist. The advice is not to wait until it gets worse, but to see your pharmacist for expert, confidential advice and treatment – there’s no need for an appointment.
It’s also important to remember that antibiotics don’t work for viruses – they can only treat bacterial infections. Problems like diarrhoea, vomiting, sore throats and colds are usually caused by a virus so should clear up within a few days to a week. Symptoms can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines. It’s helpful to stock up now with your usual choice of pain management products, rehydration salts, bandages, plasters, thermometer, antiseptic cream/wipes etc.
In a life-threatening emergency always call 999; and, for a mental health crisis, if you live in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale or Craven, call the First Response service on 01274 221181, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Sarah Horsfall, District Nurse at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The colder months can affect our elderly relatives, friends and neighbours who might not be able to get out and about easily in the wind, ice or snow, so as well as looking after yourself and your family, please do keep an eye out for vulnerable people nearby who may need extra help.
“Staying warm is really important too – wrap up when you go out and keep your house warm when you’re at home. Young children, the elderly, people with long-term conditions and those who care for vulnerable loved ones at home, are all eligible for a flu vaccination – so if you’ve not had yours yet, check with your GP or pharmacist.”
The ‘stay well’ healthcare advice from the Care Trust is being launched in time for Self-Care Week (18-24 November) which focuses on supporting self-care for people of all ages across local communities.
The Care Trust is also partnering with Bradford District Council’s Living Well initiative and Age UK Bradford District for two local events during Self Care week, offering advice on staying well in winter. Community nurses and Age UK staff will be on hand to answer any questions:
10.00am – 2.00pm Monday 18 November, Airedale Shopping Centre BD21 3QQ
9.00am to 1.00pm Thursday 21 November, Broadway Shopping Centre, BD1 1JR
Age UK Bradford District’s Director of Services Stephanie Smith commented: “Over the winter period we support an increased number of older people across the district who are struggling to maintain a warm home environment, and the ‘eat or heat’ deliberation is sadly very real.
“This winter we are working in partnership with four other voluntary organisations to support vulnerable people to stay warm and well this winter. We’re looking forward to attending both of these events to talk to anyone who needs advice, so do pop along to see us.”
If you are unable to attend either events but would like more information, visit the Trust’s ‘staywell’ web pages at https://www.bdct.nhs.uk/stay-well/ to learn more about how to keep yourself and your family well, or contact Age UK on 01274 391190 – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bradforddistrict/