Self Help Guide to Elderly Covid Isolation
In our last blog post, we wrote about the things you can do as a family member and loved one of someone elderly to help them navigate another winter of Covid uncertainty. That blog inspired us to write this one, which is intended to be a helpful guide to those shielding/taking a step back from socialising.
Being ‘vulnerable’ to Covid, either through age or infirmity, is not synonymous with ‘helplessness’. Too easily, the words have been used interchangeably within the media, and whilst, of course, it’s helpful to have friends and family caring and supporting, not everybody has loved ones in a position to do this, or have people they can rely on.
Here is a list of all the things you can do, yourself, to keep safe and happy:
Be aware of local and national organisations and groups that can help you. Charities like The Samaritans, Silver Line, Age UK, Independent Age and Mind all exist to help provide you with the support you need. Why not jot down their numbers?
Arrange to have someone local to visit regularly to help with chores or odd jobs. Independent Living Advisers find suitable people to support.
Creating routines to give days a sense of structure has been proven to help people feel more in control and less panicked.
Get excited about what’s on television or on radio! Watch that programme that you never had time for before, and tune into that daily show that you enjoy so much.
Keep useful contacts in an obvious place so you know where to easily and quickly find them, should you need them. That list could include your GP’s number, and those of your friends and family.
If you’re a little unsteady on your feet, or you’re worried about no one knowing if you have a fall, why not consider getting an emergency panic fall button? They’re simple and easy to set up, can be worn on your body, and are a good tool for peace of mind.
Plan ahead with grocery and pharmacy deliveries. Sometimes certain foods and medicines can run out (a key takeaway from our first lockdown) - make sure you’re fully prepared just in case.
Make a to-do list! Even if you’re just writing ‘wash’ or ‘laundry’ on the list, the sense of achievement can be really rewarding and makes the mundanity of chores a little more gratifying.
Take a trip down memory lane! Read that book you always meant to go back to; look at old photo albums; listen to music that takes you back to a certain time and place. Be indulgent with your time, where life hasn’t allowed you to be before.
If you are going out and about or mingling a little, remember to have a hand sanitiser bottle handy at all times. Wash your hands. Stick to uncrowded spaces. If you have professional support helping you at home, check that they have been vaccinated. The small things really do add up - and you want to try and make sure you’re minimising every risk in contracting Covid.
Stay moving! Try and make sure that you do a little light exercise everyday (even if it’s just climbing the stairs an extra time). This will make you feel better and is good for you. If you have an outdoor space - even better! Breathe in that fresh air and go for a turn in the garden.
Did you know that your local surgery will have a social prescriber who can advise about local free services like befriending, social groups and you may be entitled to free support due to isolation.
Finally, communicating, whether with friends, family, or chatting to a volunteer on the other end of the helplines mentioned earlier, is key to keeping loneliness at bay. Prioritise chatting and catching up. This isn’t the easiest of times, but hopefully these tips will go a little way in helping.
For more information on ideas and household support call 01892 210100 or visit Household Support Services for Elderly in Surrey, Sussex, Kent (ila.life)