25/12/2012 Leave a comment
Christmas day is here, the turkey is cooking and we’ve had the first Bucks fizz of the day, all the rushing for those last minute presents has passed! What they have got is what they have got and there’s an end to it. Aladdin is on the TV and we’re planning the afternoon’s and evening’s games and telly.
I hope you had a restful and peaceful Christmas and fun seeing in the New year! For some people this time of year can be lovely particularly if they are older and do not have a close family to be with. In my household we have been rushing here and there over the past few days and had little time to visit our neighbours and so during the next few days we will make that effort just to pop in and say hello.
Making the effort is a small gesture but can have a significant effect on people just to know there is someone out there thinking of them. Whist the weather has not been as cold as we feared over the past few weeks and unlike last year, we have not had to battle the snow, the ice and freezing temperatures but my thoughts always turn to the older people in our community and the need for them to be stay warm and not be at risk of Hypothermia. The next couple of months are likely to see very low temperatures stay the same so if you get the opportunity to pop in and see a neighbour or relative I am sure they will appreciate the company and you can do a few very simply non-intrusive safety checks.
The key thing about Hypothermia is that is creeps up on people without them realising, and it’s this that makes it a killer. So pop round and simply check, does the place feel cold, yet the resident says its fine, you ask and they say they are not cold, but when you shake hands they certainly feel cold, they may be drowsy or fatigued, their speech may be slurred and they may be pale and their face puffy, or they might seem a bit confused. If you have a doubt call Customer First on 0808 800 4005 and someone will help.
Of course this is a problem every year and one our community together needs to tackle, us as neighbours and the wider community as well. Suffolk has been awarded £315,000 of Warmer Homes, Healthy People Grant funding by the Department of Health to help organisations help those most in need during the winter months on a localised level. We are using this money to work closely with over 20 partners to identify those most in need and provide the support required.
The Warmer Homes, Healthy People Grant is able to help people stay warm this winter in a number of ways, including both preventative and immediate support.
Preventative support includes arranging for better loft insulation and draft proofing and cold weather temperature sensors being fitted in a person’s home, and last year we were able to help thousands of people stay warm during the winter months and I am really pleased we have instigated roadshow information events- the first of these was last Friday 21st December at Wickham Market Village Hall
So we are urging people to get in touch to see if they or their family and friends are eligible for support. Beyond the immediate of checking that our neighbour’s homes are warm we can also help them as people mustn’t suffer in silence. Being cold in your own home is not something that should be tolerated; there is support available for those in need. To find out more about Warm Homes, Healthy People visit: www.suffolk.gov.uk/warmhomes or call 08456 037 686
Have a wonderful Christmas day and after the turkey has finally settled, pop round your elderly neighbours over the holiday period.