Don’t risk ill health this Christmas – 6 Tips for Staying Well
The local NHS in Liverpool is urging people to do whatever they can to help themselves stay well and avoid unnecessary illnesses this December – particularly with many health services already so stretched this winter.
No one wants to get ill, especially over Christmas – but with the colder weather now here and people spending more time indoors, the number of people becoming unwell is increasing.
This winter there’s a triple risk from flu, covid-19, and RSV, which are all now widely circulating in the local community, and in fact hospitalisations from flu have increased by 80% in the North West over the past week alone.
But here are six simple, proactive stepsthat everyone can taketo help keep themselves and their loved ones well ahead of the festive season:
Plan ahead – If you or a family member takes regular medication for a long-term condition such as high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes, remember to check your supplies and order any repeat prescriptions at least one working week before Christmas to make sure you don’t run out.
Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home – When it comes to dealing with common winter ailments, don’t ignore them and risk your symptoms getting much worse. It’s better to treat things quickly through good self-care at home. It costs less than £10 to stock up on everyday medicines, such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin, sore throat lozenges, diarrhoea relief, constipation relief, antacid and antihistamines. Ask your local pharmacist for more advice.
Get a Covid-19 booster – If you are aged 50 and over or clinically vulnerable, make sure you protect yourself from feeling very unwell with covid this Christmas by getting your booster now. This year’s booster offers double the protection – it works against both the original virus and the newer omicron strain. Go to www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination to book an appointment or find your nearest drop-in clinic.
Book your annual flu jab – If you are eligible for a covid booster, you are likely to be offered a free NHS flu jab this year too. Contact your GP practice or local pharmacist to book an appointment now, and if you have a 2-3 year old or child in primary school, don’t forget that they are eligible for the nasal flu spray from their GP or school health team too.
Get help to stay warm and pay your bills – Colder weather is bad for your health, but with so many people struggling with rising living costs, staying warm is more challenging this year. That’s why it’s important to know about support available that could benefit you, a relative, friend or neighbour. For help with energy bills and other household costs, visit: www.liverpool.gov.uk/cost-of-living or you ask your GP to refer you to the Advice on Prescription scheme.
Look after your mental health – If you or someone you know is struggling to cope this winter, you can ask your GP practice to put you in contact with your Social Prescribing Link Worker. You can also find out lots more about local support services in Liverpool for anyone who is feeling flat, down, or overwhelmed through the Kind To Your Mind campaign.