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Health Matters - Be a Noble Neighbour

Health Matters - Be a Noble Neighbour
19 December 2018

Dr Julia Huddart, clinical lead for urgent care at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG

Winter is here, which means wrapping up warm in hats and scarves before going out to face the bitter wind and cold.

Some of us dread the cold weather and the ailments it brings with it, others welcome the opportunity to put on extra layers and get cosy by the fire but, for some people, winter can be a time of real hardship.

During the winter months, older people often struggle to do simple things that we take for granted. That’s why I’m encouraging everyone to get involved in our #NobleNeighbour campaign, in which we share tips on how you can help a neighbour in your community and put a smile on their face this winter.

Here are some suggestions on how you could be a noble neighbour:

  • Make sure that their house is warm; if it’s not then you could make them aware of the Winter Fuel Payment, a government grant for those born on or before 5 August 1953 to assist with heating costs. You could also lend them a portable heater.
  • Check that neighbours have enough food and medicines to prevent them having to go out in icy weather when they are more likely to slip and fall.
  • If there is snowfall, clearing your neighbour’s driveway of snow or spreading grit on the footpath can help keep them out and about in the community.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, give your telephone number to neighbours so they can contact you for help if they are unwell or have had a fall.
  • Homeless people are everyone's neighbours and we can all help make sure they’re safe this winter. If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough in your area then you should get in contact with Streetlink.

Remember… it doesn’t take much time to be a noble neighbour. Just checking if someone has enough medicine, or helping someone after a fall, can make a big difference to a person’s health. It also helps keep people out of hospital unless it’s absolutely necessary.

But don’t forget your own mental and physical health this winter; if you’re feeling down, you can find some helpful tips on how to improve your emotional wellbeing by visiting NHS.uk and searching for "Moodzone". And you can click here for lots of great advice on preventing and treating common winter ailments.