Doctor’s orders - keep eye on elderly and vulnerable - The Evesham Observer

Doctor’s orders - keep eye on elderly and vulnerable

Evesham Editorial 12th Dec, 2018   0

DOCTORS are encouraging people in Evesham and Pershore to look out for their elderly and vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours this winter.

Older people and those with long-term health conditions are particularly susceptible to illness and isolation at this time of year, yet it can sometimes be difficult for those at risk to admit they need help.

They suggest the following nine steps:

1) Drop in to see them and check if they are well at least once a week – and more often if the weather is very cold




2) Check if they are feeling well, particularly if they don’t seem their usual self or they look unwell

3) If they are feeling ill, encourage them to visit their local pharmacist without delay – and give them a lift if you can


4) Ask if you can collect any prescriptions they need or take them to their GP for any appointments

5) Advise them to call 111 if they feel unwell when pharmacies are closed – a trained NHS health care adviser will be able to help them

6) Make sure their home is heated to at least 18°C to 21°C throughout the winter

7) Ensure they are eating well and have a good supply of essential and store-cupboard food to keep them going – and offer to help them with shopping if they struggle with mobility

8) Encourage them to get heating and cooking appliances safety checked

9) If it snows, clear their path, front steps or doorway areas for them – or better still, encourage them to stay in.

Dr Carl Ellson, strategic clinical lead for Worcestershire’s three clinical commissioning groups, said: “Winter is a time when communities should come together to support people in need and encourage them to seek medical assistance before illness becomes so serious they need to be admitted to hospital.

“All too often we see elderly and vulnerable people having to be treated in hospital for lengthy periods with symptoms that might not have become so serious and could have been managed effectively at home if they’d only sought help sooner.

“If you are aged over 75 or you are living with a long-term medical condition such as a respiratory illness, get help straight away.

“Speak to your local pharmacist first and they’ll either recommend an over-the-counter medicine to alleviate your symptoms or tell you if you need to see your GP.”

Patients are now able to access GP and nurse appointments at evenings and weekends, find out more at www.worcestershire.nhs.uk/winter

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