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During this unsettling time, it's important to keep in mind those who need us the most. This includes older people, who may be feeling uncertain and in need of help from others. Below are some ways you can help your older relatives, friends and neighbours so that they feel supported and reasurred during this time. 

1.Keep in touch

Keep in regular contact with older relatives and friends by phone or text whichever they prefer. If you are a position to, ask them if they need any essential food items or medicines and if they do arrange a suitable time when you can safely deliver them to their house. Whilst you are on the phone why don’t you have chat? Ask them how they are and if they are worried about anything.

If you have other people that can help you could set up a rota with family and friends to make sure someone is regularly giving them a ring to check in.

It might also be a good time to introduce older relatives and friends to technology that they might find useful during this time such as Whatsapp, Skype or Zoom.

Don’t forget good old snail mail! Everyone likes receiving letters or postcards, count what and how many animals you see on your daily walk and then them about it!

  1. Lend a helping hand

If you are feeling well and able why not offer to pick up some essential shopping for an older relative or neighbour. If you are helping an older person, make sure you stay at a safe distance from them (2 metres) and make sure you leave the shopping on their front doorstep, knock on their door and step back while you ensure they safely receive it.

You could find out if you can pick up and deliver any repeat prescriptions for an older person who isn’t able to get to the pharmacy themselves.

If you have older friends or relatives that live further away and they aren’t familiar with technology you could offer to do an online shop for them or take some time out to walk through the steps of how to order their shopping online through a phone call. Please check with the supermarket you are ordering from as some of them have restrictions on delivery slots.

You might also know an older friend or relative that might appreciate some help with walking their dog or delivering some pet food for them. Again if you are offering to walk someone’s dog please ensure you are observing social distancing and keeping a safe 2 meter distance from the person.

  1. Show them you care

You could send a homemade card, postcard or small gift in the post – all these are great projects to do with children whilst at home too! Share any pictures or videos of what you’re up to by tagging our social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Books, magazines, and puzzles are all great ways to pass the time indoors so why not offer to order some online for an older friend or relative?

Keeping an active body and brain in later life is really important and should still be encouraged – whether that’s doing exercises in their house or doing some gardening make sure your older friends and family members are doing daily exercise. You can see some examples of exercises that can be done inside or out in the garden here.

  1. Useful numbers and contacts

It’s important to know who to call especially if you think an older friend or relative is feeling isolated and may need support.

For information, advice, support and guidance, call Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire

0800 6077 800 Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm

If an older person you know is worried about coronavirus but does not have symptoms you can find out lots of information you can pass on to older friends and relatives here - www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Worcestershire County Council have lots of useful information on their website about how to cope through coronavirus. - 01905 765765 http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/

Here2Help Worcestershire County Council – This website has lots of useful information on organisations around Worcestershire that can help - http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help

They also have a dedicated phone call for people that can’t access the internet to help them fill out the help form that is online - 01905 768053. The Here2Help opening hours are Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm.

Herefordshire Council01432 260000 https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/ They have lots of useful information on how you can get support throughout Herefordshire – They have a talk community response team of volunteers that are available to help throughout Herefordshire - https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200207/family_support/883/coronavirus/3

WISH Herefordshire - https://www.wisherefordshire.org/ This is a website ran by Herefordshire Council, they have lots of useful information about what support is available in Herefordshire.

Covid Mutual Aid Groups - Use this website to find local COVID support groups – a lot of these groups are ran through facebook. Simply type in your postcode or the postcode of the person you are supporting and it will come up with all the groups local to that postcode - https://covidmutualaid.org/

Mind - 0208 215 2243 https://www.mind.org.uk/ There is lots of useful information about mental health on the mind website.

  1. Donate

Demand for our vital services has significantly increased throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, help us to continue to support older people throughout this difficult time by donating to Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire. Find out how you can donate here – Thank you.

6. Volunteer with Age UK H&W

There are lots of different ways to donate, including donating your time. We are looking for volunteers for our Companion Line and volunteers to help move furniture to help people leaving hospital, to support our Home Support team. To find out more about volunteering visit our website or contact our volunteering team: E: volunteering@ageukhw.org.uk T: 0800 008 6077

*Please remember to follow all current Government guidelines, including 2m social distancing*

Contact Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire:

Telephone: 0800 008 6077

Email: referralhub@ageukhw.org.uk