Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale is supporting the cause after figures revealed that last year more than 18,000 older people died over the winter period.
Through the Connect4Life ‘Lancashire Winter Warriors/Friends Campaign’, the adult, health and wellbeing department of Lancashire County Council is asking people to informally adopt last year’s NHS England’s Winter friend pledge of helping an elderly or vulnerable neighbour.
Connect4Life works in partnership with GP surgeries, district councils, voluntary sector providers, local communities and individuals across Central Lancashire.
The Winter Warriors campaign is highlighting five ways to provide practical help including:
- Setting some time aside to drop in on an older neighbour or friend once a week, more often if the weather turns very cold.
- Check the home is warm enough. The main living area and bedrooms should be around 18°C (65°F).
- Make sure the person you are looking in on is eating well and has some non-perishable foods in the cupboard that they can heat up in case they can’t leave the house for a few days.
- Ask if there is anything you can do to help – picking up a prescription or giving them a lift to the GP. And if you are unwell, take real care not to pass it on.
- It is also important for people to keep active and get out if they can. Make sure the person you are helping has warm shoes which grip the ground and a good coat, hat and gloves. Offer to walk with them if they are not confident alone.
Birch Green general manager Carol Nickeas said: “We wanted to do something practical for older people this winter in the community and we thought this was a worthwhile project which deserved our support.”
The Winter Warriors initiative is also offering competition prizes of £150 and £250 for individuals or groups who help older people or vulnerable neighbours in a number of ways such as clearing snow for a care home, visiting someone once a week to check they’re okay, clearing snow from a neighbour’s path or driveway and helping someone to get around during the winter. Contact Connect4Life via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org