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People over 60 urged to ‘nip health problems in the bud’

PUBLISHED: 07:30 23 January 2014

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Senior clinicians concerned over rise of older people admitted to hospital.

PEOPLE in North Devon over the age of 60 are being urged to nip health problems in the bud – ‘the earlier the better’.

Doctors across the region are urging older people to seek help for health problems sooner rather than later, and not to store them up until they get worse.

Senior clinicians are concerned over the rising number of older people who are admitted to hospital because of respiratory or other chronic conditions which are usually worsened by immobility, the cold and viral illnesses.

Graham Lockerbie, medical director for the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Area team said: “Colder weather will make more people feel poorly.

“But it is important that people in high risk groups such as older, frailer people get help early to nip health problems in the bud.

“We see in our hospitals many people in these groups who have not had or sought the help they need early enough which can lead to an unnecessary stay in hospital.

“People can seek help for health problems earlier rather than later, by consulting their GP as soon as they feel ill, by talking to their family or carer or talking to their pharmacist.”

The flu vaccination is still available until the end of March and Mr Lockerbie is urging older people and pregnant women to take advantage of the service.

He added: “We are also urging all pregnant mums to make sure they have the flu vaccination during their pregnancy.

“The vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy and is safe for mother and baby.”

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