Stay well in winter

stay well

As the cold weather arrives, Havering is urging residents to stay well this winter by taking simple measures to protect themselves.

Local residents are being encouraged to get the flu jab to reduce the risk of getting the flu or spreading it to others and to keep warm this winter.

The council is advising older people, who are most affected by the cold weather, to wrap up warm – by heating their home to at least 18 degrees C (or 65F) if possible. They are also being informed to seek medical help from a pharmacist or GP if they start to feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or a cold.

Although many people associate winter with feeling poorly or ‘under the weather’, there are still some common misconceptions about the flu.

Common flu myths

There are lots of common myths associated with the flu. Some common myths include:

I had the vaccine last year, so I don’t need it again.

False. The vaccine is updated every year as the flu virus changes, so it’s important you have it every year to stay protected.

The vaccine can give you the flu.

False. You cannot get the flu from the vaccine.

It’s too late to have the jab.

False, it’s never too late.

I think I have the flu, I need antibiotics to treat it.

False. Antibiotics don’t work against flu, the best way to protect against the flu is to have the vaccine.

Flu is no worse than a bad cold.

False. Complications from flu can make you seriously ill.

Getting your flu jab

Those who are eligible for the free flu jab are people aged 65 years or over, pregnant women, children aged two, three and four, and people with health conditions such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes. Read this year’s flu jab booklet for more information on how to get your flu jab.Read this year’s flu jab booklet for more information on how to get your flu jab.

People who are not eligible for a free flu jab, are advised to contact their local pharmacy – they charge around £10 for the flu vaccination.

How to keep yourself and others well this winter

There are some useful tips in the ‘winter wrapped up’ guide, just launched by Age UK, on how you can keep yourself well this winter.

To stay well, you can:

  • get your heating system serviced every year by a qualified engineer to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently
  • make sure you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills
  • make sure your smoke alarm is working – you can ask your local fire service to check your home for fire safety
  • install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in each room that has a gas appliance
  • make sure you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills
  • dress in plenty of layers and make sure you have warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles
  • keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather
  • consider fitting a grab rail if you have steps at your front or back door
  • follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab
  • order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast
  • eat healthily and keep as active as possible
  • ask your family, neighbours or friends if they could call or visit you more often
  • keep a battery-operated radio, torch and spare batteries handy in case there’s a power cut
  • keep your mobile phone, laptop or tablet fully charged so you can use the battery power if there’s no electricity
  • keep a list of emergency numbers, such as your utility companies, by your phone

More information

For more information on staying warm this winter and how to get your flu jab, read some of the information pages below.

Download the winter wrapped up guide.
Visit our warm homes in winter webpage.

Download the flu vaccination booklet 2016/17.

Get in touch with us on: 01708 776770 (Select Option 2) or via online forms