Managing minor winter ailments

winter wellness

If you are over 60 and feeling under the weather, a minor illness can get worse quickly.

This winter see your local pharmacist for quick health advice or visit

We hope that older people, their carers and families, find it useful. Download a copy of Stay Well This Winter or print out this page to give to someone you know.

Feeling under the weather?

Cold and wintry conditions can cause misery. The cold air can make it more difficult to breathe, and minor ailments like sore throats, bad coughs, colds and flu are more common during the winter months.

If you’re over 60 and feeling under the weather, tell your friends, family or carer as soon as possible, and get advice from your local pharmacist before it gets worse.

Get help, stay healthy

When you’re a bit older, minor winter ailments can become more serious and could lead to you being admitted to hospital for treatment. Getting advice when you start to feel unwell can help you avoid becoming seriously ill.

It’s not easy for everyone to ask for help. Seeing someone like a pharmacist with minor ailments such as colds and sore throats can feel like you’re wasting their time, but you’re not – they want to help!

The quicker you get help, the quicker you’ll recover and be able to get your life back to normal.

Friends, family and carers

You’re not alone. Ask your friends, family and carer for help. Tell them if you’re feeling under the weather. They may not be able to offer health advice but they can help you get it.

Your local pharmacist

More and more people are visiting their local pharmacist to get help. They are a highly trained and trusted source of health advice.

You should visit one as soon as you start to feel unwell. It’s what pharmacists are there for.

Your local pharmacist can:

  • give you expert advice to help prevent conditions such as a bad cough, trouble breathing, cold, or a sore throat from getting worse
  • help you manage a long term condition, if you have one
  • offer longer opening hours than your GP surgery and see you without an appointment
  • provide a consultation area to speak privately so other people can’t hear
  • tell you if you need to see your GP.

If you can’t make it to the pharmacist for advice, ask your friends, family or carer to pop in for you.Stay Well This Winter leaflet

More information can also be found on the NHS Choices website at

Download a copy of Stay Well This Winter or print out this page to give to someone you know.

For more information about staying safe, healthy and warm this winter, read our guides on preparing for severe wintry conditions and flu jab, flu safe.

Get ready for winter

From staying safe, to staying in touch and warding off illness, our guide has a lot of useful tips for staying warm, safe and well this winter.

Download a copy 

Find out how we can help

If you know a family member, friend or neighbour who is lonely or isolated, find out how your local Royal Voluntary Service can help.

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