Get ready for winter

Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions. The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to illnesses that are more common in winter.

Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. But there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.

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Make sure you get your flu jab

The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly.

That’s why the flu jab is free if you’re aged 65 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition. If you have children or grandchildren aged two, three or four, or in school years one or two, they are eligible for a free flu vaccination.

And if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person you may also be eligible for the free flu jab. Just speak to your GP.

Also, don’t forget that if you’re aged 65 or over, you are eligible for the pneumococcal vaccine, which will help protect you from pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia.

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