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Follow Phyllis’ advice and protect yourself from the cold weather

Published on 23 January 2019 02:53 PM

Flu is now circulating in Wales

January and February are usually the coldest months of the year in Wales and worryingly the most dangerous for the more vulnerable members of our older population, warns Age Cymru.

Last year there were 3,400 excess winter deaths amongst older people in Wales, many of which were preventable. The charity has had confirmation that flu is now circulating throughout Wales which is not only extremely unpleasant but it can be life threatening to even those of us in the best of health.

Long term Age Cymru supporter Phyllis Preece says: "Many of us don't feel our age and we sometimes forget to take extra care in the cold. But if we take a few common sense steps by eating well, and dressing for the weather by wearing a warm coat, several layers, and a scarf around your mouth, there is no need to stay indoors all winter.

"We can still go out and about, do our shopping, and meet up with our friends and neighbours. It's like my mother used to say coughs and sneezes spread diseases, so I always make sure I have tissues at hand and wash my hands as soon as I get in from being out and about."

Age Cymru's Health Initiatives Officer, Angharad Phillips, added: "It's not too late to get your free flu vaccine, so we urge everyone age 65+ to contact their local pharmacy or GP and make arrangements to have their free flu jab as soon as possible.

"And if you're concerned that you have flu, speak to your pharmacist or GP, ideally by telephone so you don't spread the virus to others. It's important not to be too complacent about the cold as a few degrees drop in temperature can have a detrimental impact to our health, particular with existing conditions.

The charity is warning that it's just as important to keep warm indoors as sitting in a cold room can also affect our health. While many people think that the greatest risk from cold homes is hypothermia, it is in fact breathing in cold air which can lead to chest and circulatory problems.

Angharad advises: "We should try to heat our homes to a safe temperature of between 18 and 21 degrees (65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit) to keep safe and well.

"If you're worried about your heating bills call our Age Cymru Advice line free on 08000 223 444 or visit our webpages Spread the warmth


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