Keep up to date with the latest news delivered direct to your Inbox.
Cornwall's Lonely Neighbours
3:30pm 30th December 2013
Pirate FM has learnt loneliness in Cornwall causes early death in the same way as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
34,000 people over 65 live on their own in the Duchy.
Now we are being urged to sign up to a pledge that we will look in on elderly friends or neighbours.
Natalie Jones is from NHS Kernow said: "Support from the family and neighbours at this time to relieve the loneliness and to see somebody, a happy smiling face, during the day is often very much appreciated. Lots of people don't see anybody on these dark evenings for days on end."
The campaign, led by the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) is asking for 100,000 people to sign an electronic pledge that states: "I will take time out this winter to look in on an elderly friend or neighbour to make sure they are warm and coping well."
Those who sign the Winter Friends pledge will receive free cold weather alerts and email tips throughout the winter to help them do their bit.
Dr Colin Philip, a GP in St Ives, who is Chair of NHS Kernow said: "Support from family, neighbours and the community are just as important as self and professional care. If you know someone who is frail or elderly or has an existing health problem keep a close eye on them especially during this wild weather. If they are feeling unwell, encourage them to seek early advice, take them to their local pharmacy or GP before one problem leads to another and they end up in hospital. "
People who wish to sign the pledge and join the NHS Winter Friends campaign should go to www.nhs.uk/WinterFriends.
Five ways you can help after signing the Winter Friends pledge:
* Set some time aside to drop in on an older neighbour or friend once a week - more often if the weather turns very cold.
*Check their home is warm enough. The main living area should be around 21°C (70°F) and bedrooms should be 18°C (65°F). If they are worried about the costs of heating, check they are receiving their heating bill benefits, such as Winter Fuel Payment (https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment) and Cold Weather Payment (https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment). If there are draughts you may be able to help plug them.
*Food is a vital source of energy that helps keep us warm. Make sure the person you are looking in on is eating well and has some non-perishable foods in the cupboard that they can heat up in case they can't leave the house for a few days. Tinned meals and soups are ideal.
*Many older people take medicines and everyone over 65 should have a free flu jab. Ask if there is anything you can do to help - picking up a prescription or giving them a lift to the GP's, for instance. And if you are unwell take real care not to pass it on.
*It's also important for people to keep active and get out if they can. Make sure the person you are helping has warm and grippy shoes and a good coat, hat and gloves. Offer to walk with them if they are not confident alone. If it snows clear the path to their door for them.
Share This StoryTweet
WATCH: Cornwall Beauty Spots Added To 'At-Risk' Register
Ruthern Bridge and the HMS Colossus wreck named by Historic England
PHOTOS: Will This Create Almost 1000 New Jobs For Cornwall?
It comes after a six star resort near Wadebridge got the go ahead
Job Losses At Building Supplies Firm With Branches Across Cornwall
We do not know which Travis Perkins sites will be affected
Amanda Holden's Sister "Critical" After Cornwall Crash
Papers say Britain's Got Talent star has rushed to the Duchy to be with her
Cornish MP Leads Farming Debate
Cornwall News: Scott Mann told parliament we need to be with them - not against them
Gatwick fires last-ditch warning over Heathrow expansion 'risks'
National News: Gatwick Airport will fire a last-ditch warning about the "risks" of expanding rival Heathrow just hours before a committee chaired by Theresa May approves the first new runway in the south-east for decades.
Business Cornwall News - Friday, 18th December 2015
Business Cornwall News: Cornwall is spearheading reform of the Uk’s business licensing laws following a a year-long project.
Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize reaction 'arrogant'
Showbiz News: Bob Dylan's continued silence over his Nobel Prize for Literature is "impolite and arrogant", according to a member of the panel that awarded him the honour.
Vettel 'on the same page' as Arrivabene
Sports News: Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene have insisted there are no problems between them, amid fresh speculation over the Italian's position at the helm of the F1 team.
VIDEO: Batman Is Here To Save Us From "Killer Clowns"
National News: A photo of the superhero chasing one off is trending