Pharmacy

Winter checklist 

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Pharmacy

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HELP ME STAY WELL

HELP ME STAY WELL

Want you and your nearest and dearest to stay fit and healthy this winter? Great, so do we! Now we’re on the same page, how do we make that happen?

GET YOUR COVID-19 AND FLU JABS

GET YOUR COVID-19 AND FLU JABS

Having flu is horrible at the best of times, but did you know it can lead to serious complications like bronchitis and pneumonia? Well, it can, and trust us – you definitely don’t want that. Add to that the risk of COVID and well…

Speak to your pharmacist or GP about getting vaccinated against flu this season. If you’re fit and healthy, you may have to pay a small fee to get the vaccine, but trust us, it’s worth it. Not only will you help to protect yourself from the virus, but if you’re flu free you’ll avoid passing the virus on to people who might be more at risk from complications, such as older people, kids, and people with long-term medical conditions.

Encourage your friends and family to get the vaccine too. This year, the flu vaccine is free to people who:

  • are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in a long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • frontline health or social care workers

The children being offered the vaccine this year are:

  • all children aged 2 or 3 years old on 31 August 2021
  • all primary school-aged children
  • all year 7 to year 11 secondary school-aged children
  • children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu

Children aged 2 and 3 years will be given the vaccination at their general practice usually by the practice nurse. School-aged children and young people will be offered the flu vaccine in school. For most children, the vaccine will be given as a spray in each nostril. This is a very quick and painless procedure.

And if you’ve still not had your COVID-19 vaccine, or you want some more information on the winter booster, head over to our COVID-19 vaccination site to find out more.

TAKE CARE OF OTHERS

TAKE CARE OF OTHERS

I mean… do this anyway, not just because it’s cold outside. But it is especially important in winter to remember that some folks (older neighbours, friends, and family members) might need a bit of extra help when the weather is frightful, and to be on-hand to offer that help.

Slippery pavements, cold weather and global pandemics can stop people from getting out and about. Check-in regularly with frail or older friends, family and neighbours. Ask them if they need help with anything, or if they’re feeling under the weather. Make sure they’re stocked up with food and supplies to last a few days in case they have to stay in for a while. Do they have Netflix? Share your Netflix account. Don’t tell Netflix.

STOCK UP ON MEDICINES

STOCK UP ON MEDICINES

You might find that your local pharmacy and GP practice have different opening times over the holiday period, so it’s important to make sure that you check what these are in advance, in case you need them. You can check your GP’s opening times online. While you’re at it you can check when your nearest pharmacy is open online too. You’re welcome.

If you or someone you know receives regular prescription medicines, make sure you’ve got enough to last over any periods of closure, (like bank holidays), and give your pharmacy at least 48 hours to get your prescription ready. That way you know you won’t run out, and you won’t need to panic about getting your medicines at the last minute. Use that time for last-minute present buying instead.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Dark mornings and evenings, cold weather and seasonal stresses can have an impact on our mental health, so it’s just as important to look after yourself mentally as it is physically.

Talking about how you’re feeling, eating healthily, keeping active and sticking to a routine are simple things that are easy to let slip over the winter, but that can make a big difference to our mental health. This post from Dorset CCG and Dorset Mind has some great advice for looking after your mental health this winter.

For people living with serious mental illness, the winter can be an especially hard time of year. If you feel like you’re struggling this winter, or just want someone to talk to about your mental health, there’s some great advice and contacts on the Young Minds website that are worth checking out.