Stay Well This Winter

The Stay Well This Winter campaign is a joint initiative from NHS England and Public Health England, to help people with long-term conditions and those over 65 get ready for winter and lower their risk of getting common winter illnesses.

Cold weather can be very harmful, especially for people age 65 or older. It can weaken their immune system, increase blood pressure and their risk of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections.

For people with COPD, and other longer term health conditions like emphysema, diabetes or heart and kidney disease, cold weather and winter illnesses such as flu, can make existing health problems far worse.

If you are at risk, there are a number of things you can do to prepare for the cold weather season:

  • It is important to keep warm in winter. This means both inside and outdoors. Staying warm can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.

  • At the first sign of a cough or a cold get help from your local pharmacist. They can advise you on how to keep it from getting more serious and can recommend medicines you should keep on hand to get you and your family through the winter season. Also, make sure you pick up prescription medications before the Christmas holidays start, as many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays.

  • If you are aged 65 and over, pregnant, or have a long-term health conditions like COPD, Emphysema, Diabetes, Heart and Kidney Disease or have suffered a stroke, you may be eligible for a free flu vaccination. Check if you are eligible here www.nhs.uk/staywell