Stay safe and well this winter….

This year has been like no other. Normally, many of us would take time to visit our older relatives, friends and neighbours as winter approaches to ensure they are safe and well. However, under the current COVID-19 restrictions we now have to do things a little differently. Even though we may not always be able to pop round for a cuppa at the moment, it is really important that we still check in with vulnerable people by phone, text or online chat.

When you are talking to people, please let them know about the winter warmth advice available online. There is also a section about staying steady which includes top tips on preventing a fall: 

We also recommend reading the informative Get Up and Go’ guides, which are packed with lots of useful information including how to reduce the risk of trips and falls in the home and what to do if someone else has a fall. Contact Nottinghamshire County Council on 0300 500 80 80 if you would like to get a free copy of the guide. If you are unable to check the risks in your own home, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service may be able to organise a safe and well visit. This includes a discussion about falls and other potential risks. Find out how to make a referral or phone 0115 8388100.

You may also be concerned about your own health. Unfortunately, getting older can affect our balance, muscle strength and bones – it’s the same for everyone, particularly if you are over 75. But we can all protect our independence for longer by taking some simple steps. The fear of falling may mean that you would rather stay inactive in case you hurt yourself.

However, the evidence shows that long periods of sitting down can do more damage. By doing regular exercise and stepping up your daily activity, you can help to improve your balance and muscle strength. The recommended amount is 30 minutes five times a week. Gardening, housework, cycling and walking all count towards this total. Experts also advise two muscle strengthening sessions a week for the over 65s.

If you’re struggling to get out to exercise during the winter months, you can sign up to free virtual strength and balance classes for the over 55s by visiting Your Health Your Way and clicking ‘refer today’ or phone 0115 772 2515.

There are also other virtual groups and classes continuing across the county so there are opportunities to stay active and connected to others during these challenging times. If you are feeling lonely and would like support getting in touch with local groups and networks, the Connect service can help. If you want information about this service, other ways to stay independent or what types of support are available, then please visit Nottinghamshire County Council’s website or phone 0300 500 80 80.

So, although we can’t do all the things we normally love, it’s important to try to stay positive, stay active, get support when you need it and look out for each other. 

Stay safe and well this winter.