Keep warm, keep well

What a bitter weekend that was as Storm Ciara battered our county! A timely reminder to reiterate a warning from Somerset’s public health leaders and family doctors. They are advising the elderly and people living with long-term conditions in Somerset to keep warm in order to keep well this winter.

Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term condition, live alone, or live with a disability or mental health condition.

Dr Ed Ford, Minehead GP and Chairman of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, explains “If you are going outside, make sure you dress appropriately and wear lots of layers. If indoors, make sure that you keep your heating to the right temperature; heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing. Having regular hot drinks and meals can also help keep you warm.

If you do become unwell, your local pharmacist can give you treatment advice for a range of minor illnesses. They will also tell you if you need to see a doctor. So see a pharmacist at the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or a cold. The sooner you get advice, the sooner you are likely to get better. If you are worried about your health or that of somebody else and don’t know what to do, ring NHS 111.

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