OLDER people in Worcestershire are being encouraged to keep active in the winter months to avoid the risk of becoming frail as a result of staying indoors for too long.

A report issued today by NHS England as part of its The Earlier the Better campaign aiming to avoid unnecessary hospital visits by older people said pensioners tend to stay indoors for long periods of time during periods of cold weather and can become frail as a result.

The organisation is advising people 60 and older to keep active, eat at least one substantial hot meal a day as well as snacks and hot drinks and be careful when taking medication.

Families are advised to keep in touch with elderly relations, as loneliness can lead to depression, poor sleep and other factors.

Vitamin D supplements can also be taken to keep up strength.

Medical director for NHS England in Arden, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Martin Lee said: “By staying strong, older people can lead a healthy and more fulfilling life.

“We would all like to see our older relatives and friends enjoying their later years, as much as they can.

“There are a few simple things that older people can do to slow down the onset of frailty, and to help those who could already be described as frail to avoid their condition from deteriorating quickly.

“By making sure they eat well and move around as much as they can in a safe environment, people will see a positive difference in their physical and mental well-being."