Ways to help elderly friends, family and neighbours through the Covid-19 outbreak

Many people are feeling understandably anxious and helpless with the Covid-19 outbreak. People are very worried in particular about older friends, relatives and neighbours who may be more at risk of contracting the virus.

Below are some steps you can take to help members of your own family, friends and people in your local community who may need your support.

1. Try to be positive and calm

Although this is an unprecedented time, you do not want to panic others. Listen to and follow government advice and try to look after your own mental health as well as helping others. Trying to remain positive will greatly benefit those around you who may also be stressed and anxious.

2. Follow government guidelines on social distancing

The guidance is changing regularly, make sure you keep up to date with what measures can be taken by you to best protect vulnerable and older people.

If you feel ill, try to avoid close contact with / any visits to elderly or vulnerable people (even at a distance). Organise for someone else to go in your place if it is an essential visit.

3. Ensure you reach out and stay in contact with people

Many older people may be alone, organising regular contact such as texting, emailing, and phone calls ensures they feel connected to someone. Leave your number on a note through doors of your neighbours in case they needed you to help them with anything or they just wanted to speak to someone.

4. Contingency planning

Ensure you have a plan in place if you were to show symptoms and were therefore unable to help someone who is in need. Arrange for other friends/family/neighbours to step in for you. If you personally care for someone, ensure there is a designated person who also knows what medication they need to take and any other necessary details about the care required.

5. Get involved in a local community group or initiative

Neighbourhoods around the UK have a variety of schemes to help the more vulnerable in the community. Steps such as donating to food banks, checking in on elderly neighbours via letters, and posting on community social media pages your availability to help out are all a great way you can support others.

6. Encourage the person to stay busy and active

We have also published a blog on the best ways for older people to stay busy during self-isolation. Click here to read.

Age UK run an advice hotline, open 8am-7pm all year round specifically for older people. To speak to them about anything that concerns you call: 0800 678 1602.

For further information and guidance, do contact your local Sunrise care home. For a list of our local homes, click here.

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