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As the cold, dark nights creep in, winter is officially here and it’s time to prepare for the seasonal changes. At this time of year it’s not just the cold weather that can cause problems – many infections spread more easily in winter, and people often find themselves with a low mood.

Older people are particularly vulnerable during the colder months. Wet and icy weather can increase the chances of falls and injuries, and there is also a higher chance of developing complications of viruses such as influenza. With this in mind, it’s important to take extra steps to look after your health and wellbeing at this time of year. Here’s some handy tips from the Mayfair team.

Keep warm at home

It’s important to stay warm during winter, especially if you are over 65, have a health condition or are less mobile. It is recommended that the room you spend time in should be heated to no lower than 18˚C. Our carers can help you to check your home is warm enough day and night. If you’re worried about the cost of heating your home, there are various grants and benefits that you may be eligible for, so see if you can claim financial help.

Get the flu jab

The flu is more common at this time of year, and medical professionals are predicting a very bad flu season. Protect yourself as best you can by having the flu jab now. Many people are eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS, but if you’re not it is available at a low cost from many high street pharmacies. Flu can be very serious for anyone with an underlying health condition or people over the age of 65, so it’s essential to be protected.

Maintain a healthy diet

Keep your immune system working well by eating a varied diet during winter with lots of vitamins and minerals. Hot meals can keep you warm, so make sure you eat at least one a day. It’s also a good idea to keep a store of basic food items in the freezer and the cupboard, in case it gets really cold and you can’t go shopping. You should also drink plenty of hot drinks throughout the day.

Stay active and social

Many people suffer from seasonal sadness in the winter, mainly because the days are extremely short. Try to stick to your usual routine and make sure you have something to look forward to each week. This could be a community coffee morning, an afternoon out with friends or a visit from a family member. You should also try and stay active when possible, to keep your muscles from becoming weak. Take an afternoon walk when it’s not too chilly or join in a local exercise class.

Keep well this winter, and let us know if you have any requirements during this difficult time of year.