WITH coronavirus, flu, and other common winter illnesses around, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and stay well this winter.
There are some small, simple things you can change in your everyday routine to help keep yourself safe and avoid becoming unwell during the winter months.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing said: “It’s especially important this winter with the risk of coronavirus and flu that older and vulnerable residents do what they can to make sure they stay well.
“This winter, make sure you self-isolate if you feel ill and make sure you take advantage of the Covid vaccine and booster, and the flu jab if you are eligible. We can all take further steps to stay well by making sure we stay warm, active and keep in touch with friends and loved ones.”
Make sure you adequately heat your home
Keeping your home well-insulated and heated to at least 18°C will help to keep you warm and reduce your risk of developing a respiratory illness.
Check to see if you are accessing all of the available financial support to help with paying for heating and housing this winter:
- Find advice and information on the GOV.UK website
- Warrington Citizen’s Advice Bureau can also provide support with accessing benefits – visit warrington-advice.co.uk or call 300 330 9091
- The Warrington Home Improvement Agency (WHIA) offers practical advice around keeping warm, including funding support. If you need a new boiler or safety checks on your appliances, they can help to get the right contractors and may have funding available – call 01925 246 812
- Uswitch can provide free and impartial information for energy, broadband, mobile comparisons and switching support – call 0800 688 8395
- If your home has an energy efficiency rating of D or lower and your household income is less than £30,000, you may be able to access a Green Homes Grant to improve the energy efficiency of your home – visit warrington.gov.uk/green-homes-grant
- For owner-occupiers, means tested loans and grants are available to help keep your property warm – email email@example.com or call 01925 248 482
- For rented properties (private and social housing) all houses should have an energy efficiency rating of A to E. However, if you are concerned that you’re living in cold home which is impacting on your health, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01925 248 482
- Many people living in older properties and those on benefits or low income may qualify for extra financial assistance – to see if you’re eligible, visit gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures or call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234
- The energy saving trust provides energy saving tips such as switching to LEDs – visit energysavingtrust.org.uk
Take part in activities and stay connected
It’s important to make time to be social, connect with others or take part in activities to keep your brain and memory active – like a workout for your mind!
The following organisations host groups and services that you may be interested in:
- U3A hosts interest and activity groups for all ages at a low cost.
- Lifetime offers advice, training and social events to elder individuals over the age of 50.
- The Good Neighbour project supports people of all ages who are feeling lonely or socially isolated, have limited or no support around them and need help with the little things.
- Age UK runs a national befriending service, either over the telephone or face-to-face.
Look after yourself and be active
Looking after both your physical and mental health is key to keeping safe and well. Visit our self-care menu for advice and tips about how to make good self-care choices.
- Make sure that you keep moving and spend less time sitting still for long periods. Short and regular episodes of movement, physical activity, or chair based exercises can keep your circulation moving throughout the day.
- Join the Lifestyles Active at Home Facebook group on Facebook or have a look at the make movement your mission videos for those who are less mobile provided by Later Life Training on YouTube.
- LiveWire organise regular health walks across the borough that are a perfect first step to getting back into exercise – visit livewirewarrington.co.uk/lifestyles/health-walks or call 0300 003 0818 for more information.
Finally, make sure you boost your immunity this winter by taking up the offer of your booster COVID-19 vaccine and flu jab. Vaccines are our best protection against these viruses. Find out more at warrington.gov.uk/covidvaccine