The government has asked the country to stay at home during the current COVID-19 crisis.
This means any elderly or vulnerable people are now at home, potentially alone, for the foreseeable future.
Research done by the Campaign to End Loneliness found that half a million older people already experience periods of social isolation.
The COVID-19 outbreak could now make the issue worse as they won’t be able to receive visitors at all. So, we have put together some top tips for how you can help any elderly folk at this time:
Make sure they have essentials
If you can, telephone neighbours, friends or family members and check what essentials they have. If safe for you to do so, you can pick these up from supermarkets and local shops. Please ensure you maintain social distancing rules while doing so.
Making sure they have everything they need, including prescriptions, reduces the risk that they go out themselves.
If you can’t do it yourself, lots of businesses have now set up deliveries in rural areas, so look into who is doing this where you live.
While you’re on the phone, have a catch up and see how they’re feeling.
Encourage digital methods of communicating
Although there’s nothing wrong with a good, old fashioned telephone call, using apps like Skype or Facetime allows you to actually see eachother.
If you’re elderly loved-one or neighbour is up on their technology, why not video call eachother? It would be nice for them to see a friendly face.
You could even try apps such as Zoom so more members of your family or friendship circle can join the chat as well. Why not make it a daily thing?
Encourage them to take up a hobby
Now is the perfect time for them to take up a new hobby. They could try birdwatching or knitting or crochet, which is great for improving your mood and relaxing.
Keep them active
We are allowed to go outside for a daily walk or exercise. However, if this is not possible due to mobility, then the elderly can give chair yoga. It’s not strenuous and allows them to stay sitting while they do it.