Everybody Needs Good Neighbours
With the colder weather, we all need to remember to check that older and vulnerable people in our communities are safe and well.
The Village and Community Agents will be getting out and about more than usual, checking people are comfortable, warm and well supplied with food and drink, but being a good neighbour becomes even more important when the wintry weather takes a grip.
In the cold, icy weather, people tend to be less active because of a fear of falling, resulting in people getting too cold. It can also mean they can’t get out to go shopping, so it’s important to make sure they have enough supplies to last. You can also help by making sure that paths are cleared and well salted.
For more advice on how to be a good neighbour and staying well this winter, look at the ‘Keep Warm and Well’ pages on: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/keepwarm
Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Caring and Community Services, Cllr Antonia Noble, said: “When the weather takes a turn for the worse, people need to look out for each other and check on their elderly neighbours. This is particularly important for those who don’t have family living nearby and that might be cut off in rural areas, but people in busy towns can feel isolated too.
“We would ask milkmen and postmen to check on people they know might need help on their rounds. It can be very lonely for people who can normally get out and about but who are temporarily housebound - just knowing that someone is there to help if necessary can remove a lot of worry and anxiety.”
If you have any concerns about an older or vulnerable person, contact the county council’s Adult Helpdesk on 01452 426868.For 24 hour health advice,NHS Direct can be contacted on 0845 46 47 or www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
Helping people in the cold:
• Encourage people to use a blanket or rug or wear a dressing gown and drink hot drinks to keep warm while sitting. If someone seems less with-it than usual, it could be that the cold is affecting them - get more advice from NHS Direct if necessary.
• Make sure paths are cleared and well salted. Many older people are worried about falling on icy roads and paths and shopping is difficult, so check elderly neighbours have enough food and milk to last over the snowy period.
• Checkportable gas heaters are safe.
• Make sure there is a supply of fuel within safe reach.
• If people have regular medication, ensure they have sufficient stock to get them through the cold period. If anyone is uneasy leaving home to collect medication, they can contact the local pharmacy as most offer a collection service.