Looking after your health during the Cost of Living crisis
The continuing cost of living crisis is adversely affecting people’s physical and mental wellbeing, with vulnerable people and those on lower incomes hit the hardest.
For some, that has meant cutting back on lifestyle luxuries and non-essential expenditures. For others, tough decisions on monthly outgoings have potentially meant going without vital healthcare or medication because the cost is too high.
However, you can take steps to prioritise your health. Please take a look at the tips below to help you keep well.
Prioritise your health. If you have a chronic condition, a new illness causing concern or feel under the weather, seek the appropriate professional healthcare support. Many pharmacists can support you with everyday health concerns meaning you may not need to visit your GP, and you should only go to a hospital in an emergency.
Take your Medication. Many of us take medication to stay healthy and manage existing health conditions. While rationing your medication and cutting back on prescription spending may save money in the short term, it may lead to health complications in the long run. Some people are entitled to free NHS prescriptions or if you regularly pay prescription charges, a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) could save you money.
Keep your appointments. Please attend any pre-arranged or regular appointments with your GP, dentist, optician or hospital whenever you are able. Bus fares have been frozen across thousands of routes, but if you’re worried about the additional costs incurred in booking or attending, check out what support is available to help you when travelling to your GP, hospital or other NHS services here.
Get the support you’re entitled to. Ensure you are getting all the benefits and grants you are eligible for, as many people don’t claim. Citizens Advice is a great place to start if you’re looking for help on anything from housing and debt management.
Find a warm hub. In response to the crisis, ‘ warm hubs’ or spaces have been set up across local areas to provide a warm place for people to go. You can find your nearest warm, welcome space here.
Seek help from a food bank. Many people are buying less food because of current financial pressures, but this can significantly impact physical and mental health. If you’re struggling to feed yourself or your family, there is no shame in asking for help from a food bank. You can find food banks near you on the Trussell Trust website.
Need more support?
East Sussex County Council have set up a support page with help and advice around the cost of living crisis. They provide information and advice on what support is in place for East Sussex residents.
Other organisations are also offering advice and information:
Healthwatch East Sussex’ Information and Signposting Service
For help navigating health and social care services and support groups near you please contact our free and independent Information and Signposting Service.
Contact us by:
Telephone: 0333 101 4007 Monday – Friday (10am-2pm)
Freepost: Freepost RTTT-BYBX-KCEY, Healthwatch East Sussex, Greencoat House, 32 St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3UT (no stamp required).
To share feedback on health and care services in East Sussex any time, visit the Healthwatch East Sussex Feedback Centre here.