Dudley Council
Dudley Skyline

Our Winter Wellbeing scheme offers lots of practical help, support, information and advice to keep older and vulnerable people protected over the cold winter months.

As the weather gets colder and nights get darker it is vital that older or vulnerable people take steps to keep safe, warm and well at home. This isn’t always easy in cold, snowy or icy weather but lots of help is available from a range of schemes and services, all part of the council's Winter Wellbeing initiative.

Find more information on these services below.

We have also produced a Winter Wellbeing booklet that can be downloaded (below).

Zoom into Winter Wellbeing 

Two fun online Winter Wellbeing zoom sessions are being hosted in December to help older people keep safe and well this winter. 

These sessions are for anyone interested in staying well over the winter (or people who help support those over the winter months) and will include handy information, tips and advice - from live cooking sessions, simple indoor exercise sessions focusing on keeping moving while at home, help about keeping your home affordably warm and tips to stay safe and secure online. We will also be encouraging people to share their own top tips about keeping warm at home. 

Please do join us on:

Tuesday 14 December – 4.00pm - 5.30pm

  •  Introduction on how to keep safe online
  • Indoor exercise ideas to stay active and keep warm
  • Live cooking demonstration of a nutritious winter recipe
  •  Get connected to your community – Dudley community information directory

Thursday 16 December – 11.00am - 12.30pm

  • Benefits advice
  • Top tips on eating well over winter
  • Keeping your house warm during winter
  • Indoor exercise ideas to stay active and keep warm

 Living well feeling safe online tool – get a personalised report on support, services, equipment and aids to help you stay independent at home

Book your place here to Zoom into Winter Wellbeing in Dudley.

Covid 19

Protection

Find out more about what older or vulnerable people can do to protect themselves from Covid 19.

Community support

One positive outcome of the Covid 19 pandemic is that communities have supported one another throughout these difficult times. If you have a great idea about how to support your local community, our team of community development workers can help connect you to resources, venues and groups. For information email healthycommunities@dudley.gov.uk 

Covid-19 community champions

If you would like to help stop the spread of coronavirus in your community, you can find out about becoming a Covid-19 Community Champion.

Key support services offering specialist help over the winter months:

Keep warm at home

Our Winter Warmth service offers free help to Dudley Borough residents to keep their homes affordably warm over winter. A home energy advice visit offers assistance to reduce your energy bills, find the cheapest tariff, energy grants and discounts, including the cold weather and winter fuel payments.

There's also free home insulation and new boilers for qualifying homes. 

Nobody should be cold in their home. Call the Winter Warmth service on 01384 817086.

Money support

The Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies is a temporary fund to support people who are struggling to afford essential items.

For residents who are self-isolating and have no family or community support, most supermarkets provide online shopping. 

Anyone who can't get shopping, or is struggling to afford food, can contact Dudley Food and Support Service, run in partnership with CAB, DCVS and Black Country Foodbank.  

Find out more about all of these services by calling 0300 555 2345.

Caring for a family member, friend or neighbour during winter

It is important that carers look after themselves during the winter months, as well as the person they care for. Dudley Carers Hub offers practical help, advice and information to carers. 

Call 01384 818 723 or email dudleycarershub@dudley.gov.uk

Guidance for carers during Covid-19 is available.

Lonely or isolated?

The winter months can be long and lonely for many people, especially older people or those with a disability or long-term health condition. Our ‘Pleased to meet you’ scheme offers support to people feeling lonely. Our helpline offers a friendly chat, or the chance to find out about help in the local area, including assistance arranging for grocery or medicine supplies to be dropped off to you.

 

Call the 'Pleased to meet you' helpline on 01384 812 761 Monday - Friday between 9am and 4pm, or email communitysupportserv@dudley.gov.uk

Mental health

Changes to our lives, including loneliness, can have a big impact on our mental wellbeing, as can worries about health and finances.

For information on how to improve your mental wellbeing, mood and confidence, and details on a range of support organisations, go to Let's Get - Dudley Public Health's website. 

If you are registered with a Dudley borough GP and are suffering from anxiety or depression, you can get help from Dudley Talking Therapy Service (IAPT). 

There is also a 24/7 mental health support line for Black Country residents, provided by Black Country Healthcare Foundation Trust. Call 0800 008 6516. 

Dudley Telecare Service

Dudley Telecare Service, our emergency telecare call service, offers 24/7 help for older or vulnerable people. Perfect during the often isolating winter months.

A range of telecare gadgets can be installed within the home, all linked to the emergency monitoring service to assist you and give you reassurance in your home.

Call 0300 555 2040. 

Safety and security

The dark winter nights can encourage bogus callers to target older and more vulnerable people. Distraction burglaries often increase during winter, particularly around Christmas.

The council's Living well, feeling safe service offers free home safety and security advice and equipment, such as door chains and window locks. 

Fire risks also increase during winter. The service can offer free fire risk checks, smoke alarms and fire safety advice.

Request a Living well, feeling safe assessment by calling 01384 817 743.

Beware of scams

Older people in particular are often targeted by scammers, in their homes. Recent local scams have included property maintenance cold callers, bogus mobility equipment and bogus home security alarm sales, along with fake lotteries and prize draws. Always be wary of people selling things at the door. If you are concerned seek advice from Dudley Trading Standards who are always happy to help.

Weather watch

Keep an eye on our weather watch page for up-to-the minute information on council services that may be affected in bad, wintry weather.

Avoid falls in winter

It’s easy to slip and fall during the cold, icy and snowy winter months. A fall can often lead to a hospital visit, so Dudley Falls Prevention encourages you to take care in the winter months; particularly if you are older, as you may struggle to recover from a fall. If you do fall, or are worried about your balance and mobility we offer lots of advice and support

Call 0300 555 0055 and select option 2, or email fallsspa@dudley.gov.uk

Covid 19 vaccines, boosters and the flu jab

Everyone should make sure they get both doses of the life saving Covid 19 vaccine, along with their booster dose as soon as they are eligible.

The flu vaccine is now offered free of charge to many groups of people, including  people who are 50 and over, those who have certain health conditions and people who live with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus. You can get your free flu jab from your GP or pharmacy.

Manage long-term health conditions

Learning self-management strategies help people to cope with long-term health problems so they can continue doing the things they love, live with less stress and have more energy. This is especially important during winter when health issues can worsen. 

Self-management programmes run once a week for six weeks. Participants get inspiration, tools and coping techniques.

There are two free courses. One is for adults with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, mental health problems, or heart issues. The other is for adult carers who care for someone with a long-term health condition.

Virtual and telephone-based courses are available. To find out more call 01384 816 437.

Top tips to stay winter safe

  • Think twice before going out in snow and ice
  • Ask someone to pick up food or medication for you if the weather is bad 
  • Let someone know before you go out in bad weather, or take someone with you
  • Keep a stock of long-life, tinned and frozen food in preparation for bad weather
  • If you do need to go out to an appointment, try not to venture out alone, take someone with you - even if they are not allowed in with you
  • Wear sensible shoes in icy or snowy weather with a good, deep grip
  • Be careful when going out in thawing snow or ice, it can hide icy surfaces
  • Stay safe and secure - keep doors locked even when you are at home and use a door chain. Make sure you ask callers for ID
  • Close your curtains after dark
  • Get your heating system and other gas appliances checked out by a professional
  • Keep a useful list of contacts handy

Top tips to stay winter well

  • There's lots of advice on staying well over the winter on the NHS's Staywell website

  • Get both of your Covid jabs and booster dose when eligible
  • Be sure to have your flu jab too
  • Eat a balanced diet and take a vitamin D supplement

  • Keep a stock of your medication and make sure you order any repeat prescriptions well before you run out
  • Keep warm at home - keep heating on and dress warmly in several layers
  • Keep moving around, even when stuck indoors. Move every hour to keep joints and muscles working and to boost your circulation
  • Eat well and regularly. Have at least one hot meal a day and hot drinks through the day
  • Get healthcare advice promptly from your local pharmacy, your GP, or by calling 111. Don't wait until you feel very unwell
  • Keep in touch with family and friends with a daily chat, or check out the Dudley Community Information Directory to find out what's going on in your local area

Our Independent Living brochure also gives you detailed information on the full range of services available to help keep you safe, secure, happy, well and independent in your own home, including how to return to independence after a period of illness or hospital stay.