AS TEMPERATURES struggle to get above freezing, residents are being asked to keep an eye on vulnerable family and neighbours.

Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for public health, said: “Taking extra care during cold weather is important for everyone, but particularly important for people who are more vulnerable to suffering ill health due to the cold.

“This includes the very elderly, as well as the very young.

“I would encourage people to check on the frail and elderly over the next few days, particularly in rural areas, to ensure they are able to stay warm, have warm food and drinks, can access medication if they need it and have a clear access to and from their homes to help prevent them falling.”

If anyone is worried about an elderly neighbour or relative, they should call Hampshire County Council’s adults’ health and care team on 0300 555 1386, during the week or call 0300 555 1373 out of hours and on weekends.

Top tips on staying healthy and safe during cold weather include heating your home to at least 18 degrees C (65F), if you can, wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer to retain heat more efficently, and eat well as food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm, so try to have regular hot meals and hot drinks throughout the day.