At this time of year, the risk of illness increases for everyone, but it can be particularly harmful to people who are clinically vulnerable.
From the drop in temperature to the increased pressure on the NHS, it is important to be prepared for the difficulties of winter.
Who is classed as vulnerable?
The NHS states that people who are vulnerable in winter include:
- People aged 65 and over
- Children under 5 years old
- People with a low income
- People with long-term health conditions
- People who are disabled
- Pregnant people
- People who have mental illnesses
Increased risk of illnesses
In winter, we see an increase in illnesses. The common cold, flu and COVID-19 can all prove to be serious for people who are vulnerable.
If you are classed as clinically vulnerable, you may be invited by your GP to receive both a flu jab and a COVID-19 booster vaccination. These vaccinations will not make you immune, but they will reduce the risk of serious illness.
One of the most dangerous elements of winter is the temperature. It is advised that you should aim to heat your house to a temperature of at least 18C, particularly in the rooms you are using most.
Being cold can lead to the common cold or cases of flu becoming more serious.
There are grants, benefits, and advice available to help make your home more efficient, improve your heating, or help with bills.
For more information, you can call the Government helpline on 0800 444 202 or go to the Government website here.
Due to all the above, the NHS faces increased pressure at this time of year. The influx of patients means that wait times increase and services become less accessible.
If you are feeling unwell, it is important that you get the help you need.
Pharmacies can offer advice on medications and whether you should visit your GP surgery.
If you need to visit your GP, please still do so. You can also contact NHS 111, either online or by phone in a non-emergency medical situation. Having the right care in place can help to avoid these situations.
Help and support
The dangers of winter mean that many people need more support. Whilst friends and relatives can provide help with small gestures, such as buying groceries and collecting prescriptions, many clinically vulnerable people need more at-home care.
Our highly trained carers can provide nursing care and support for those with complex needs. From hospital discharge services to live-in care, we provide different levels of care for those who need it.
If you or a loved one needs specialised care this winter, get in touch to find out more about our services.