The stay at home message given by the government is clear. Staying at home helps to ensure the safety of many by reducing demands on the NHS and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Staying at home helps to protect others, but it also means vulnerable older people are at greater risk of isolation. Our 5 ways to help older people during lockdown are simple ways of letting someone know that you’re thinking of them during this difficult time.
Whilst the coronavirus infection can affect people of any age, those over 60 are still at a greater risk of developing significant problems. Especially if they have underlying medical or health conditions. It’s extremely important to follow the stay at home advice, but there are practical ways to help your elderly relatives or neighbours whilst we’re all indoors.
Can I go out to help a vulnerable person?
You can only provide support to vulnerable people if you are:
- well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and nobody in your household does
- are under 70
- are not pregnant
- do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus
If you answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, you may leave your house to provide care or help a vulnerable person. The government have put together some further advice on how to help safely.
5 Ways to Help Older People During Lockdown
1. Stay in Contact
A quick phone call can make a world of difference. From raising a smile to practical support, speak to an older relative, friend, or neighbour over the phone to find out what they need. For more tech-savvy relatives, video calling is a brilliant way to make the distance between you feel smaller. If you know they have access to a computer, smartphone or tablet, make them aware of services like Skype, FaceTime, or WhatsApp video calling. You could also ask other neighbours or members of the family to drop them a line, so you’ll know they’re able to have a chat a few times each week.
2. Offer Your Help
A loaf and a pint of milk are essentials that people often need. If you know someone who is self-isolating, struggling with, or worried about leaving their house, offer to do a quick shop for basics and leave the bag on their doorstep. This way they can collect the shopping safely as long as you stand 2 metres away.
3. “Thinking of You”
Around the UK many people are placing rainbow pictures in their windows. The rainbows aim to brighten smiles in the local community and show solidarity with key workers. Ask your children to make a rainbow for older neighbours and pop it through their post box (after washing your hands) to make them smile. Or you could always make a card or write a letter to show you’re thinking of them.
4. Charity support
Some UK charities have services to support older people who are feeling isolated. Age UK is a charity which provides practical information and advice to older people. You can call Age UK advice on 0800 169 65 65. Silver Line is a national social phone service for older UK residents. Share 0800 470 80 90 for informal chats and information.
5. Rent or Buy a Stairlift
To help them to stay at home, older and vulnerable people need to stay safe in their home. If you’re concerned about the mobility and safety of a relative or neighbour, renting or buying a stairlift could mean they can stay in their home more comfortably and avoid a potential hospital admission by improving stair safety.
Halton Stairlifts are continuing to support UK households and local communities. Call us on 0800 644 7766 to arrange stairlift installation and find out more about our virtual stairlift surveys. You can also find out more about the Halton Stairlifts Coronavirus Policy, to see what measures we’re taking to reduce the risk of spreading infection.