A good time to think about staying well this winter.

Norfolk Carers is teaming up with local pharmacies to encourage people who look after a friend or relative to stay well this autumn. Susanne Anderson is from Norfolk Carers:

“If you’re looking after someone who is ill, frail or disabled and you go down with ‘flu, or another bug, it’s not only unpleasant for you but it affects your ability to look after the person you’re caring for. Winter ailments can also have a more serious effect on people who are older, have a disability or an existing health condition.”

Lauren Seamons, is from Norfolk’s Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC). She says it’s a good idea to seek advice from your local pharmacist if you have any concerns:

“If you’re looking after someone it’s important that you look after yourself too and take advantage of the fact that pharmacies are open extended hours and at weekends for advice that’s free and without the need for an appointment.”

According to the NHS, the best time to have the flu jab, which is routinely given as a nasal spray, is in the autumn –  from the beginning of October to early November.  You can read more about who is eligible for a free vaccination here.

Here are some top tips for carers to stay well:

  • Get a ‘flu jab – a  number of pharmacies offer the flu jab, which is free if you’re 65 or over. You may also be eligible if you are the main carer for an older or disabled person.
  • If you’re 65 or over you may be able to get a vaccine to protect you from pneumonia and other similar diseases. Just speak to your GP.
  • Visit your local pharmacist as soon you start to feel unwell; if you think you are going down with something, a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets worse.  Pharmacists can advise on the best course of action to help you recover more quickly, and advise on which medicines you should have in your cabinet to help you and the person you are looking after.

Other tips include:

  • Keep warm – Heat your home to at least 18 degrees (65 F)
  • Make sure that you are receiving all the financial help you’re entitled to with energy bills – call Norfolk Carers Advice Line for details.

More information about staying well this autumn is available from your local pharmacy or from the Norfolk Carers Advice Line on 0808 808 9876 Text only: 07497 002864