Supporting and looking out for older and vulnerable people

Every winter, we see an increase in the number of people needing to be admitted to hospital.

Among the elderly and the most vulnerable, minor respiratory illness, such as the common cold, can prompt care needs that impact on their frailty and those with existing chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD are particularly vulnerable.

The cold weather and viral infections such as the flu often leads to deterioration with patients needing more care and support than usual.

Flu is highly infectious and spreads rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the virus. Some groups such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly and those who have existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable and because it is caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t help.

So if you know someone who is frail or elderly or has an existing health problem and they are feeling unwell, encourage them to seek early advice, go to their local pharmacy or phone your GP practice before the issue escalates and they end up in hospital.

And even if they remain healthy and well during the winter period, it is still important to look out for others. Age UK Doncaster host a range of volunteer programmes all year round to provide support to elderly and vulnerable people to help keep their independence and prevent social isolation. If you would like to get involved in this important local service, please visit the Age UK Doncaster website.