Look out for the elderly this winter – Nigel’s Good Neighbours   You are here: Home » News Detail

29th November 2017

As winter starts to bite NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting Nigel’s Good Neighbours campaign and urging people to look after their elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours.

Nigel’s Good Neighbours campaign has been set up by Milton Keynes Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Nigel Long and at the CCG we are supporting Nigel’s campaign to encourage people to look out for their elderly friends and neighbours to help avoid unnecessary hospital visits and have a healthy wellbeing this winter.

Older people, in particular those that live alone, are especially susceptible to winter illnesses, yet it can be sometimes difficult for those at risk to admit that they need help. All too often elderly and vulnerable people end up being treated in hospital for long periods with symptoms that might not have been so serious and could have been managed effectively at home if they had only sought help sooner.

The winter can also be isolating for those who are unable to get out and about during cold weather periods and when it is icy which can have a detrimental impact on their mental health. It can be a very lonely time of year and can lead to people feeling isolated and depressed.

If you have a friend or neighbour who is vulnerable then you can do your bit to help by checking in on them regularly and making sure they have everything they need to stay well this winter.

Dr Nicola Smith of NHS Milton Keynes CCG, said: ‘It’s not always easy to take the first step, but more often than not people will appreciate offers of help and support. It’s important for communities to look out for each other to help us all stay well during the winter’

“We are supporting Nigel’s Good Neighbour campaign and we would like to encourage people by taking time to talk to our elderly neighbours and asking them if they need support with anything. The help you offer could be as simple as helping them carry shopping home or offering assistance with household chores. Don’t be afraid to offer to get their medication if they’re not able to and if you’re able, make sure they’re taking it as prescribed.

“Encourage them to call 111 if they feel unwell when pharmacies are closed – a trained NHS health care adviser will be able to help them.

“It’s important to make sure that their home is heated to at least 18°C to 21°C throughout the winter. As well as being at a higher risk of colds and flu older people are more susceptible to strokes and heart problems during the cold weather. If you can see they’re not looking or acting themselves encourage them to visit their local pharmacist for advice.”

Councillor Nigel Long, MK Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “The Council welcome the support of the CCG in helping older people cope with the winter months. This highlights the close working between social care and the NHS. I’m strongly in favour of working closely together especially to support and help older and disabled people cope with the cold and the dark winter months.”

For more advice on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell or https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/nigel-s-good-neighbours