Residents in Cornwall are urged to plan ahead for their health in the cold weather season

As the weather turns colder again people across Cornwall are being urged to think about how they can plan ahead to stay in good health, have a good support network and think about the impact they have on health and social care services in the region.

Cornwall Council Adult Care and Support teams and Public Health teams advise there are a number of things that people can do, including making sure they have their flu jab, keeping warm and active, having a friend or neighbour on hand to help should they get ill, for example picking up medicines from the pharmacy, and to be flexible and mindful about how they use services.

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Strategic Director for Adult Care and Support Helen Charlesworth May said: “At this time of year we often see a spike in the amount of help and support people need. This puts a huge amount of pressure on the resources available across the social care and health system.

“Workers across the region are already under a huge amount of pressure and do a fantastic job providing care and support to those most in need but before people get to the stage of needing our help there is already a huge amount of support available in the community that they can access, as well as taking simple steps to stay well at home.”

Interim Deputy Director of Public Health, Steve Brown said: “Evidence shows that people who don’t keep warm and active and are socially isolated face negative impacts on their health and social needs.

“The Public Health team have a wide variety of help and support available to people, a lot of which is included in this year’s Winter Wellbeing Guide which was launched last month. There are also many different activities that people can access in their community such as organised walks and support to stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake.”

The Winter Wellbeing guide, published online and as a useful business card, gives information on heating, insulation, and how to save money on energy by switching companies and checking tariffs.

In an average winter over 20,000 extra lives are lost due to winter illnesses. Combined with cold and damp homes, it is a serious public health concern.

Helen Charlesworth May added: “We work very closely with colleagues at our hospitals and issues often arise where the demand for hospital beds and care beds is so high. We have already made a lot of improvements in order to make sure people can access rehabilitation services so that they can get back on their feet quicker after a stay in hospital. Sometimes though people do need a care package in order to go home and if this is the case we ask that people be flexible in accepting the package of care that is on offer. Wherever possible we will try to meet the needs of individuals but it might mean, for example, that people have to take a later wake-up call so that everyone is able to go home with a care package as soon as possible.”

The Winter Wellbeing guides are available as printed copies at Council One Stop Shops, GP surgeries and health centres, hospitals, Family Hubs, and Job Centres. They are also available to view online on the winter wellbeing pages. 

Further actions people can take are:

  • Keeping their home heated to 18 degrees Celsius
  • Reduce energy costs and debts to then reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing
  • Have a pneumonia jab
  • Staying hydrated

Posted on 21 November