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Winter Wellbeing – be a good winter neighbour

December 5, 2018

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we urge residents to be good winter neighbours. As the weather turns colder, neighbours who are older or have health problems may need your help and support.

They may not be able to go to the shops, attend hospital appointments or pick up prescriptions, making them vulnerable when the weather is particularly bad. This can also make them feel lonely and isolated - so please think about what you could do to help them. 

Here are a few tips on how to be a good winter neighbour: 

  • Check on elderly or vulnerable members of the community to make sure they are safe and well;
  • Make sure they have enough food and medicines to prevent them having to go out in very cold or icy weather and, if they don’t, pick essentials up for them when you’re out and about; 
  • Give them your telephone number, so they can contact you for help; 
  • Check their home is warm enough. Living rooms should be heated to 21C and bedrooms to 18C; and
  • Keep drives and footpaths clear of snow and ice for your neighbours. 

According to Age UK, more than two million people in England over the age of 75 live alone. Bad weather could result in someone who is usually sociable and active, becoming housebound and feeling alone. This can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and wellbeing.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “Checking in on friends, family members and neighbours this winter can make all the difference to them. A quick phone call or a knock at the door can prevent people from feeling lonely and helps to ease pressure on urgent and emergency health services at a critical time of the year.

“Cheshire East Council and its partners are also here to help throughout the year and there is a wealth of information and support available.” 

Residents are also urged to be on the lookout for signs that something might be wrong with a neighbour, friend or vulnerable member of the community.

Warning signs include: 

  • Milk still out on the doorstep late in the day;
  • Newspapers and post stuck in the letterbox;
  • Curtains drawn during the day;
  • Lights on during the day;
  • A home in darkness, when there should be someone at home;
  • A dog barking all day or the cat scratching to be let in; and
  • Bins not put out on collection days.

More information and advice about the care and support available for adults in Cheshire East can be found by visiting the Live Well pages and clicking on the associated tab. The resource directory will also help you find support in your local area. 

For concerns about the welfare or safety of an adult, call 0300 123 5010 (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays) or call 0300 123 5022 at all other times, including bank holidays. 

Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page  and on Twitter at: @CheshireEast

Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.