New guidance on how to support older people through winter
- 13 Jun
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has released guidance on how to reduce deaths and illnesses amongst older people during the winter months.
NICE wants doctors to identify people living in homes that are too cold and local authorites to provide insulation and heating services. They say many deaths each winter in England and Wales are preventable.
Age UK has called the recommendations very positive, reports the BBC.
The draft NICE guidance covers people who are vulnerable to the cold, including those over 65, people with respiratory conditions such as children with asthma, and people with cardiovascular conditions.
Prof Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE, said their recommendations were relevant to normal winter temperatures below 6C - not just extreme cold weather.
He said: "Although most causes of death and illness vary throughout the seasons, there is a clear increase during the winter months. Around 24,000 additional people die during this time each year in England and Wales. This lack of consistency makes it very difficult for professionals to know what support is available locally and how to get help for those who need it."
NICE's recommendations include:
• Providing a one-stop local health and housing referral service for people living in cold homes, which offers access to grants for housing insulation and heating
• Identifying people at risk of ill health from living in a cold home. Health and social care professionals should identify people who are particularly vulnerable to the cold because of a medical condition, include this information in the person's records and take action, where necessary
• Ensuring vulnerable hospital patients are not discharged to a cold home by turning on the heating before they get home or providing advice on how to use the heating system
• Training heating engineers, meter installers and those providing building insulation to help vulnerable people at home with sensitivity
Mervyn Kohler from Age UK said the NICE draft guidance was "hugely positive".
"We have struggled to get health professionals to recognise the risks of cold in the past. Now we need them to go the extra mile, and for health authorities to act on these recommendations."
Dr Angie Bone, head of the extreme events team at Public Health England, said: "The NICE draft guidance is very welcome as it is offering practical ways in which we can build on existing work to better protect people from the effects of cold. We'll thoroughly review this and see how we can incorporate the key findings into the Cold Weather Plan."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/982474
- 01 Sep
Older people need more male carers
Professor Martin Green has said that the government needs to do more to recruit males into front-line adult social care roles, reports the BBC.Prof Green has said that with the increasing number of...
- 25 Aug
Survey finds older people have better quality of life in retirement villages than care homes
Chief executive of Audley Retirement, Nick Sanderson, has said that demand for his form of extra-care housing was so strong he could not build homes fast enough, reports the Guardian.He said: “I...
- 12 Aug
Older people’s Commissioner disappointed by Welsh Government
Sarah Rochira, Wale’s Commissioner for older people has said she is “extremely disappointed” at the response from the Welsh Government to its call for action to protect residents in care homes,...
- 31 Jul
Charity warns of loneliness in older people
The Campaign to End Loneliness charity want a “range of support” for older people to help them fight loneliness, reports the BBC. The charity says that transport and technology are essential to...
- 27 Jul
New housing for older people promised
Members of Kensington and Chelsea’s cabinet have decided to create 150 new homes for older people on the site of a care home that closed down in 2014 due to Legionella, reports Get West...
- 22 Jul
New drug provides hope for older people with Parkinsons
Scientists have found that people taking glitazone pills were less likely to develop Parkinson’s than people taking other diabetes drugs. However, they have cautioned that the drugs could have...
- 15 Jul
Lack in dignity when caring for older people in hospital
In a poll from 2012 it has been found that poor care is most likely to be experienced by people over the age of 80, reports the BBC. Over a third of patients who need help at mealtimes did not...
- 09 Jul
New housing development for older people in Sunderland
A 16.3m housing and care scheme has been opened by the Leader of Sunderland Council, reports Sunderland Echo.The accommodation provides 158 two-bedroom apartments for older people and 17 one bed...
- 07 Jul
Social care cuts leaving older people stranded
Age UK is calling on Chancellor George Osborne to put an end to cuts to social care funding due to the increasing rate the older population is growing, reports the Yorkshire Post. Age UK has...
- 01 Jul
Charity wants priority for older people in housing
Erosh represents organisation providing housing and support to 120,000 older people and has written to new government ministers in opposition, reports Inside Housing.The letter calls on ministers to...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I found the event informative and timely it helped me to complete our response to DWP without which I would have struggled." S.S. - Safe House