Residents are being reminded to be safe and keep healthy this season, with tips to plan ahead and be prepared for winter.
People are being urged to prepare for cold spells by keeping warm at home, planning ahead before travelling by car in extreme weather, having emergency contacts ready and ensuring medicine and food cupboards are stocked up.
Residents are also being asked to check on their older and disabled neighbours and family members who may need extra support in the cold weather.
Wakefield's Director of Public Health, Dr Andrew Furber, said: "During the winter months we see more cases of colds and flu. Some people are at higher risk of serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and mental health problems. So it is important to be prepared."
Dr Furber is advising people to familiarise themselves with the Council's winter health leaflet which can be found at www.wakefield.gov.uk/seasonalhealth It explains different care options depending on people's symptoms. This will ensure that residents get the right care and avoid needless visits to busy A&E departments.
People are being encouraged to check festive opening hours of GP practices, pharmacies or shops well ahead.
Cllr Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: "It may be cold outside but winter doesn't need to be an unsafe time of year for people and their families.
"As the weather changes it is important to stay well by following simple steps like getting your flu vaccination, keeping warm and helping others by checking on vulnerable adults, neighbours and relatives, who may not want to venture out in icy weather."
People are urged to get their flu vaccinations by contacting their GPs, nurses or health professionals immediately. Residents aged 65 or over, pregnant women, children aged two, three or four, residents living in nursing or residential homes homes and everyone who cares for older or disabled people are eligible for a free vaccination. People in the 'at risk' group who are under 65, as they have certain medical conditions such as chronic diseases, are also advised to get a flu vaccination. If in doubt please check with your GP.
Anybody concerned about the safety or well-being of an adult or older person should contact Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503.
There are a range of schemes available to help towards the cost of energy saving home improvements to cut fuel bills. To find out more about schemes visit. www.wakefield.gov.uk/residents/community-and-housing/housing/energy
Top winter tips:
- Heat rooms to a minimum of 18 degrees. If it's not possible to heat all rooms, then heat the living room during the day, and the bedroom at night.
- Use a wheatbag or hot water bottle to stay warm.
- Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day to stay warm.
- Wear several light layers of clothes to retain heat, as this is more effective than one bulky layer.
- Stay active round the house. This will help to keep the joints moving, and to stay warm.
- Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house.
- Have heating systems regularly serviced.