Getting your food
If you are aged 70 or over or under 70 with an underlying health condition, you are being advised to stay at home and arrange for support with your essential supplies such as food and medicine.
If support is not possible through family, friends or neighbours, there may be other options available to you.
Several large supermarket chains have introduced special measures to support older people to get the supplies they need, such as protected shopping hours and priority delivery slots. You should check with your local supermarket to find out how you can access this support.
The Age Cymru website contains really useful information to those aged 70 or over. This charity may be able to support you or be aware of local provisions being made in your area, for example in West Glamorgan, a home cooked Food Delivery Service is available. You can find out more here by entering your postcode.
Age Cymru also offer a telephone support service to those over 70 or over 50 and living with a health condition or disability. To register for free help and advice call 01792 648886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many fantastic community aid groups that have been created in response to COVID-19, offering support to those in need in the community. A really useful website has been set up – by entering your postcode here you can see what help is available in your area.
Vulnerable people can self-refer into an NHS volunteer Scheme to receive support for shopping, medication delivery and check in calls. You can find more information here or call 0808 196 3646 to self-refer.
Connecting with people
Many of us with experience loneliness as a result of isolation during this difficult period. Perhaps the best thing you can do to combat loneliness at this time it to connect with others. If you are comfortable using technology, there are many ways you can stay in touch with your loved ones. You can even make connections with people across the world whom you share something in common with. For example, joining and participating in a Facebook group about topics you are in interested or finding online forums about your hobbies and interests.
If you are more comfortable with traditional ways of communicating, keep sending letters or postcards – this could be particularly nice if you have grandchildren, or stay in touch on the telephone or by texting, and use video chat services like Whatsapp, Facetime and Zoom.
Steve Dixon from our Community Engagement Team is on hand to help with any digital queries – perhaps you may want help getting set up on a video chat application or would simply benefit from some advice about what tools to use. Contact Steve on 07989431800 or email email@example.com between 2pm and 5pm Monday to Friday. No question is too silly!
At Linc, we have a Community Empowerment Team called STRIVE. STRIVE and our Community Engagement Team are working together to ensure we can provide you with the support you need through this difficult period. So, if you are feeling lonely, or you feel you cannot cope or are struggling with anything, we are here for you. If you feel you would benefit from a regular call from us, please get in touch on 0800 072 0966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are self-isolating and cannot get out of the house, you can still stay active at home. Age Cymru’s website has some excellent suggestions including short videos of simple chair exercises and gentle yoga stretches. Move It or Lose It has lots of exercise tips for older people, and you can also request a free Covid-19 support pack. Exercise is not only good for our physical wellbeing, but it can lift our spirits too.
If you are able to leave the house, a local walk for some fresh air will do you plenty of good. Make sure you stick to the social distancing guidelines and stay two metres apart for anyone you see.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden or a balcony, you could try planting something in a pot – perhaps you can ask a neighbour or a family member to pick you up some plants in your local supermarket. Or why not try growing your own vegetables from leftovers? There are some interesting ideas on this website.
There are lots of activities or hobbies you can do from your home to keep you busy and creative. Try cooking something new or baking with ingredients you may have in your cupboards. Reading, writing and puzzles will perhaps provide a welcome distraction. Have a go at knitting, drawing or painting – you might just find a new hobby to keep you entertained! If you are comfortable with technology, use the internet to search for craft ideas to keep you busy or online tutorials to get you started with a new hobby.