All through the year, whether it be Winter or Summer, older people are more vulnerable due to the extreme weather changes. At Age UK Lewisham and Southwark we develop actions and work with the community throughout the year to ensure that the most vulnerable are looked after and supported before they reach crisis point.
Our Weathering Well Programme looks to address health inequalities amongst older people through both Winter and Summer months and offer the following two projects to tackle the challenges of both seasons.
Summer Health Promotion
Age UK Lewisham & Southwark helps older people in summer in Southwark.
The London Borough of Southwark as part of the Weathering Well initiative has funded the Age UK Lewisham and Southwark Summer Health Promotion Programme.
What does the summer health promotion programme aim to deliver?
- Enables older people in Southwark to maintain their independence, safety and wellbeing in their own homes; contributes to reducing hospital admissions by utilising the S.A.I.L. first contact scheme which will provide home visiting from advice workers, guided conversations with care navigators, good neighbours schemes and provide easy access to a wide range of services to support vulnerable older people through the summer months
- Reduce social isolation and improve well-being amongst older people in Southwark through the promotion of a programme of community activities where people can access information and practical measures on keeping cool and well in summer, particularly in the event of heatwaves and associated poor air quality
What is the Programme?
Age UK Lewisham & Southwark will be delivering a range of activities to support older people stay well during the summer months. The Programme is focused on reaching vulnerable older residents who are at risk of health problems that a can arise as a result of hot weather, heatwaves and associated poor air quality. It aims to:
- Inform vulnerable older people living in Southwark that there are services out there that they can access confidently for information, advice and practical support to stay well during the summer months, particularly in the event of heatwaves
- Inform staff and volunteers in front line health and social care services, voluntary and community organisations in Southwark of the Programme messages, and encourage them to refer or sign post to those who may need help through S.A.I.L. for a range of services to support older people, such as getting financial advice and a benefits check, home improvements services for people in private sector housing who may qualify for free adaptations
- Encourage local businesses and residents to look out for those in the community who might be more vulnerable during periods of prolonged hot weather
- Encourage people to volunteer in groups and services that can support older people to stay well and reduce their social isolation, such as the COPSINS partners (Time and Talents, Blackfriars Settlement, Southwark Pensioners Centre, Alzheimer’s Society and Link Age Southwark) as well as South London Cares
- Develop the delivery of community based local activities across the borough through the provision of small grants
- Link with the NHS local care networks as they develop to ensure joined up services
5 key summer health messages
- Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it's safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler
- Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat
- Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
- Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water
Additional key messages
- Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
- Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need
- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
Warm and Well in Winter
Each winter, one older person dies needlessly every seven minutes - that's 200 deaths a day that could be prevented.
For Organisations in Southwark- How we can help you help your older people keep warm & well:
Are you an organisation or small group based in Southwark working with older people? Can you think of an event or activity to bring older people together this winter and raise awareness of our project and things that can be done to help keep our older people warm this winter?
Age UK Lewisham and Southwark have some small grants available to help towards the costs. Applications are now open, so download our small grants pack to find out more information and apply today.
Please note that there are two closing dates for applications:
- Round 1 - 27th October for events planned to take place in November and December 2017
- Round 2 - 15th December for events planned to take place in January, February or March 2018
Please read the criteria and guidance document carefully and be sure that you understand the purpose of the grant.
Priority will be given to groups and organisations who have not previously been awarded a grant. Successful organisations will clearly demonstrate how they will communicate the health messages for staying warm and well in winter and helping to reduce social isolation for older people in Southwark. The number of people the event is intended to reach will also be considered.
If you have any questions regarding the process, access to information resources or you would like to discuss your planned event, please email Communities Living Well.
For Southwark Residents - Warm and Well in Winter 2017/18
Following the success of the Warm & Well in Winter programme over the last three years, Age UK Lewisham and Southwark is pleased to continue to offer this programme in partnership with Southwark CCG for Southwark residents this Winter 2017/18. The project aims to help older people keep warm and well throughout the winter in a number of ways. During the Warm & Well in Winter project we will be providing the following services in Southwark:
Age UK Lewisham and Southwark's Tips for Keeping Warm and Well
- Stay warm in your home. By setting your heating to the right temperature (18–21°C or 64–70°F), you can keep your home warm and your bills as low as possible. Wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one. Wear bed socks, thermal underwear and a nightcap or headscarf at night.
- Energy to stay warm is expensive, therefore make sure you are on the right tariff for you (call your energy supplier to discuss tariffs, or check an accredited price comparison website); that you cover up cracks and gaps in your home (e.g. under doors, around windows etc.) and that your boiler is up to date.
- Get financial support. There are grants, benefits and advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating and help to reduce your fuel bills. It is worthwhile claiming all the benefits you are entitled to.
- Eat well and drink regularly. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm so try to make sure that you have hot meals regularly throughout the day. Drinking hot drinks can help with staying warm and drinking water regularly with help your body stay healthy. A thermos mug will keep hot drinks warm for longer. Keep a flask of your favourite hot drink or soup near your bed to drink when you wake up.
- Look after yourself. Keep active. Move around in the home at regular intervals if you can, or do a few exercises in a chair if you can’t. This keeps the blood circulating. Avoid sitting still for more than an hour. Spread activity throughout the day; avoid doing everything in the morning and then sitting down all afternoon. Staying active keeps the circulation going and helps you keep warm. When sitting down keep a blanket handy and put your feet up as the air is cooler at floor level.
- On cold days try to avoid going outside; however, if you do need to remember to wrap up warm, put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside. Wearing layered clothing or thermal underwear under clothing will trap warm air.
- Get a flu jab. You can get a free jab from your doctor (GP) and pharmacists to protect against seasonal flu if you are over 65 or have a long-term health condition. If you have a cold or flu it is better to stay in bed and rest. Remember to drink plenty of fluids.
- If you take any prescribed medications make sure that you have enough to last you should you not be able to get out of the house in the event of ice or snow. Your local pharmacist may do home deliveries of medication.
- Stock up on tins of soup and other foods that you like to eat. Frozen vegetables are as good as fresh ones. Tinned fruit in natural juice is healthy too. By eating a range of foods including fruit and vegetables you will get plenty of nutrients and vitamins.
- Check that your friends and family have your correct phone number, especially if you have recently changed your mobile number. Agree who you will call in the event you need someone to get some shopping for you or top up your prepay card.