Stay healthy, safe and warm this winter
Older residents in Warrington are being encouraged to stay fit and well during the colder winter months.
Warrington Borough Council is delivering its Stay Well this Winter campaign. The special events will give local people the opportunity to drop-in and get a range of advice about how to stay fit and well this winter. Public health officers will be on hand to provide visitors with information, as well as signposting them to local services.
As part of the events, the council will also be promoting the ‘11 top tips’ for ageing well in Warrington. The ‘Healthy Ageing’ tips encourage people to get their flu jab, along with a host of other advice about issues such as reducing the risk of falling, eating healthily and getting involved in the community.
Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for public health and wellbeing, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “It’s so important that local people, in particular our older and vulnerable residents, stay safe and healthy as the colder weather sets in.
“These events are a great way of finding out all about how to look after yourself during the winter months. So if you need advice and information, make sure you pop along, meet the team and get ready for winter.”
One older person who has taken steps towards a happier, healthier and more active lifestyle - helped by local services - is Pauline. After issues with her health made it difficult for her to go out alone, Pauline got in touch with the local ‘befriending’ scheme, a voluntary service which offers companionship and helps prevent isolation.
Pauline and her befriender, Julie, hit it off immediately, and now regularly enjoy trips together, from going for a coffee, to taking trips around the market, to doing a bit of window shopping. Their relationship is an example of how re-connecting with social activities can make a real difference.
Pauline said: ‘It’s so important to be able to communicate and I’ve not had the chance to do that since I became housebound. I’m now getting out and keeping in touch with the world outside. I’m really grateful for the service.”
Meanwhile, in Orford a group called ‘Blooming Art’ is supporting older people and helping them unlock their ability to express themselves through art.
The group has attracted a large number of older men, many of whom had never picked up a paintbrush since they were in school. Some had become isolated after bereavements and loss in their lives, and had not left the house for over 18 months before joining the group.
Now, they have found new friends and a new way of expressing themselves which they hadn’t been able to do through words.
The brains behind the group, Gail Stubbings, said: “Whatever it was that made them come along to the group, it has been amazing to watch their transformation. We are like a supportive family - we support each other, we help each other, we listen to each other and we talk to each other – all because art has opened that up to us.”
For more information about Blooming Art, visit www.bloomingart.org.uk
To find out more about the Befriending Service, whether to become a Befriender or Befriendee, call 01925 241360.