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Health Insight October 2002: Looking after older people

  The UK Department of Health marked International Day of Older Persons, on the 1st October, with the launch of this year’s annual flu vaccination campaign. The aim this year is to achieve an overall national uptake of seventy per cent among those aged sixty-five years and over. As the influenza virus is constantly changing people are being encouraged to have the jab, which is free for anyone over sixty-five and those in ‘at risk’ groups. For the third year running the ex-boxer Sir Henry Cooper, is fronting the campaign. This year’s main message is, ‘Beat flu before it beats you’.

Also launched on the 1st October was the Keep Warm Keep Well public information campaign. Around half of all extra deaths each winter are due to respiratory diseases and a third due to heart disease or strokes. A drop in body temperature contributes to these deaths by thickening the blood and restricting circulation. The campaign offers a free telephone helpline, and a guide containing practical tips on keeping warm and staying healthy in winter. It also outlines financial assistance to help people heat and insulate their homes in cold weather. Keep Warm Keep Well will run until next March.

Source: Press releases (DoH)

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