TOWN doctors are encouraging people in Redditch to look out for their elderly and vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours this winter.
Older people and those with long-term health conditions are particularly susceptible to illness and isolation at this time of year, yet it can sometimes be difficult for those at risk to admit they need help.
They suggest the following nine steps:
1) Drop in to see them and check if they are well at least once a week – and more often if the weather is very cold
2) Check if they are feeling well, particularly if they don’t seem their usual self or they look unwell
3) If they are feeling ill, encourage them to visit their local pharmacist without delay – and give them a lift if you can
4) Ask if you can collect any prescriptions they need or take them to their GP for any appointments
5) Advise them to call 111 if they feel unwell when pharmacies are closed – a trained NHS health care adviser will be able to help them
6) Make sure their home is heated to at least 18°C to 21°C throughout the winter
7) Ensure they are eating well and have a good supply of essential and store-cupboard food to keep them going – and offer to help them with shopping if they struggle with mobility
8) Encourage them to get heating and cooking appliances safety checked
9) If it snows, clear their path, front steps or doorway areas for them – or better still, encourage them to stay in.