Community healthcare teams across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are supporting local people to stay well this winter, with top tips to ward off common winter ailments and where to go for further help and advice.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s community nurses and health visitors are running community based events with voluntary organisations and Bradford Council during self-care week (13-19 November), to help people stay physically and mentally well as part of the national ‘stay well’ campaign.

People with long-term conditions such as diabetes, heart or respiratory conditions like asthma, and people aged 65 and over, can be affected by the colder weather, and need to ensure that they spot the first signs of illnesses and treat them early.

Family and friends who care for an older person or someone with a disability are also important.   Winter can be isolating for some people with nearly half (49%) of all people aged 75 and over living  alone (Age UK), so older neighbours and loved ones may need a bit of extra help over the winter months, so that everyone can stay healthy and well at home.

District Nurse, Sarah Horsfall, says:  “Winter can potentially affect our health but there are a number of things that everyone can do to keep themselves and their families well over the colder months. If you don’t feel well, even if it’s just a cough or cold, we’d urge people to act quickly and talk to their local pharmacy before it gets more serious.  It’s also a good idea to check you’ve got the right medicines at home, to treat the most common winter illnesses like sore throats, as soon as they start.

We’d also guide everyone that’s eligible for a free flu jab to ensure that they have it, and to wrap up and stay warm, both outdoors and at home, and to heat their house to at least 18°.  This can help prevent health problems, including more serious health issues such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia. Wearing layers of clothing will also help, as well as keeping bedroom windows closed at night, to prevent the risk of chest infections.”

Sarah also advises trying to stay physically and socially active in winter, including staying in touch with family and friends, and getting involved in local community groups, that will boost both physical and mental wellbeing.

Sarah will be giving a free talk at the Trust’s carers hub at Horton Park Health Centre in Bradford on 14 November, 10.30-11.30am, which is open to people who are caring for loved ones that are receiving any of the Trust’s services.

The Care Trust’s community nurses and health visitors will also be giving advice and answering questions at ‘stay well this winter’ events, 13-19 November, at Kirkgate Shopping Centre; Airedale Shopping Centre; the Sangat Community Centre in Keighley; Khidmat Centre in Bradford; Keighley and District Volunteer Centre and Sunbridge Road Mission in Bradford.  For more details and times,  along with top tips and advice, visit www.bdct.nhs.uk/staywell.