Keeping the vulnerable safe during this week’s cold spellHealth and wellbeing
17 January 2023
The Met Office is predicting colder weather over the next few days in North Northamptonshire. This means that there will be freezing temperatures overnight and these will remain low during the day.
Although winter weather and snow can be fun for some, these weather conditions are also associated with an increase in illness and injuries. Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, flu and other diseases.
People slip and fall in the snow or ice, sometimes suffering serious injuries. Some groups, such as older people, very young children, and people with serious medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather.
Older neighbours, friends and family members, may need some extra help over this time and there is a lot you can do to help those who need support.
Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they're feeling unwell. Icy pavements and roads can be very slippery, and cold weather can stop people from going out.
Ask if they're stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they cannot go out, and have any prescription medications they need.
Make sure they know about the Warm Spaces scheme particularly if you know they don’t have internet access. These are in libraries, community centres and places of worship and all are welcome for the warmth and hot drinks.
If they need help when the GP surgery or pharmacy is closed or they're not sure what to do, go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.
If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1602 (8am to 7pm every day).
North Northamptonshire Council is still operating the 'Everyone In' initiative, and committed to offer suitable accommodation to verified and genuine rough sleepers, regardless of the weather, as quickly as possible.
The Rough Sleeping and Housing Options Teams are working closely to ensure that all known and verified rough sleepers have been offered accommodation from yesterday evening.
If you have any intelligence or know of anyone rough sleeping, particularly during this cold spell then please always notify our Rough Sleeping Team, giving whereabouts and identity – during office hours on 01536 464630, email [email protected] or out of hours through the council out of hours service on 0300 126 3000.
Advice for older people:
- Keeping yourself warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression
- Several layers of clothes are better at helping keep your body warm than one thick layer. Heat your home to a temperature that's comfortable for you. If you can, this should be at least 18°C in the rooms that you regularly use, such as your living room and bedroom. This is particularly important if you have a health condition
- If you are struggling to heat your home you may like to visit one of North Northamptonshire’s Warm Spaces
- Wear shoes with good grip when you go outside to avoid slips and falls on slippery or icy surfaces
- Make sure you're getting all the help that you're entitled to. There are grants, benefits and advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills
- When you’re indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour or so. If you find it difficult to move about, stretching your arms and legs can also help keep you warm
- If you are feeling down or out of sorts, chat to someone or call local number 0800 448 0828 a mental health support number open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. When you call a trained member of staff will find the right support for you whether this is from the NHS; the voluntary and community sector; or advice over the telephone
- Don’t delay treating minor winter ailments like colds or sore throats. If you are worried about your health, contact your local pharmacist, 111 or your GP, who will all be able to offer advice and support. In an emergency dial 999
- If you’re aged 50 or over, or are a carer, you’re eligible for a free flu jab and an autumn Covid-19 booster this winter. Contact your GP or pharmacist. It’s not too late to get your vaccinations