Published Monday 19 December 2016 at 9:00
Blackburn with Darwen residents are urged to keep warm and keep well over the next few weeks as the borough gears up for the arrival of winter.
At this time of year, the likelihood of slipping and tripping on icy ground increases and fractured and broken bones can lead to further complications, such as blood clots and pressure sores.
A third of excess winter deaths are attributable to respiratory disease and over half to cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes.
It is especially important to look out for older neighbours or relative during the winter to make sure they are safe and well.
Following these five top tips will help you keep your home warm, keep on top of your bills and keep healthy.
Heat your home well
By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18-21ºC) you can still keep your home warm and lower your bills. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but never use both together. It is especially important if you’re at home all day.
Get financial support
There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills.
Eat well and have plenty of fluids
Food and water are vital sources of energy, and they help keep your body warm. Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.
Get a flu jab
You can get a free flu jab to protect against seasonal flu from your GP if you are over 65, pregnant, or have a long-term condition.
Look after yourself and others
On cold days try to avoid going outside if at all possible. Ask friends and neighbours for help with essentials such as shopping or medicines. If you do need to go out, remember to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during the winter to make sure they are safe and well.
During the winter months in Blackburn with Darwen, DASH provides additional advice to residents on how to keep homes warm whilst keeping energy bills down as well as offering a free handyman service for over 60s.
For more information on DASH visit the website, call (01254) 588822 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any specific concerns about an elderly or vulnerable neighbour call (01254) 585921. For general information on keeping safe and well through the winter or for information about local good neighbours schemes call (01254) 292620.