Be sure to check on elderly neighbours during the current cold spell!

Bradford and Craven residents are being urged to check on vulnerable neighbours during the current cold spell to ensure they are keeping warm and well.

One in seven people living in Bradford district and more than one in four people in Craven are over 65 and at greater risk of health problems, such as respiratory conditions, which are made worse by cold temperatures.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the three Bradford district and Craven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are encouraging people to regularly check on older neighbours to ensure they are taking care of themselves.

Dr James Thomas, Clinical Chair of Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’re expecting low temperatures for another few days so it is more important than ever that we look out for our neighbours, friends and relatives to check they are keeping warm and taking care of themselves.

“If a neighbour or someone you know has a respiratory condition, please be aware that they may need more support in cold weather. There are lots of little ways you can help, for example, going to the shops so that they don’t have to go out or popping in for a chat and a cuppa.”

Chest problem

Dr Leanne Cheyne, Consultant Respiratory Physician at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Winter is a difficult time if you have a chest problem, especially as you get older. As your body ages, it feels the cold more and is more susceptible to winter bugs.

“To help, make sure your home is warm and if you need to go out wrap-up well. Keep moving and eat well. It’s a good idea, if you’ve not had it already, to have your flu jab, along with stocking up with over the counter remedies.”

Sophie Carrow, Specialist Respiratory Nurse at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Anyone who has a respiratory condition knows their normal every-day symptoms. These include knowing what normally causes them to be breathless, whether they usually have a cough and if they do what colour their phlegm usually is. Knowing what is normal for them can then help them to recognise quickly when they are becoming unwell.

“Our advice is that if there is a worsening of two of their normal symptoms over a couple of days, they should seek early advice from their pharmacist, GP or other health professional involved in their care or, if it’s urgent, by calling 111.

“Early treatment can help prevent their condition getting worse and may avoid a trip to hospital.”