New ten point winter plan to help elderly

A TEN point action plan to keep elderly residents safe and warm this winter has been launched.

Hambleton and Richmondshire Councils has joined forces with Age UK to launch its winter weather campaign. A series of posters and leaflets were distributed, packed with useful telephone numbers, information on snow-clearing, dealing with power cuts and finding tradesmen.

Forum members said following the ten point plan listed below will mean everyone is ready when the severe cold sets in.

*Have the heating system serviced and the chimney swept

*Check with your fuel supplier for advice on winter stocks

*Check the water stopcock is working correctly

*Make sure the smoke alarm is in order

*Check the electric blanket has been serviced,they should be done once every three years

*Buy some warm boots with non slip soles

*Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to use on icy paths

*Keep flu, cold and sore throat remedies in the house and make sure you are up to date with prescription drugs

*Have a flu jab

*Keep basic foods in the cupboards and freezer

The plan will also see two emergency phone helplines opened when the severe cold strikes. Hambleton residents should call 0845 1211555. People in Richmondshire will dial 01748 829100. Residents can alos pick up one of the new leaflets that have been distributed at flu jab clinics. They are also available at district council offices in Northallerton, Easingwold, Richmond, Colburn and Leyburn, and libraries. “Over the last two winters the severe weather has kept many people indoors, and those that have ventured out have put themselves at risk,” said Paul Fisher, Manager of Age UK North Yorkshire.

“We are asking that everyone is a good neighbour, whatever the age of the person living next door. That could be making sure they are ready for the bad weather as well as during any cold spells clearing snow, collecting prescriptions, doing shopping, or just simply being there for a chat.”