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Practical Ways to Help Older People

How we can all help

Although we are no longer in lockdown, there's still lots of ways we can all continue to look out for older family, friends and neighbours - particularly as the Omicron variant spreads.

1. Keep in touch

It is really important to keep in touch with friends and family to try and keep our spirits high and to look after each other. Here are some ways that you can keep in touch:

Meet up in person 

It is currently possible to meet up with people indoors and outdoors. You should follow all rules in place regarding face coverings and providing your details in hospitality settings to allow contact tracing. You can find rules and guidance on staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 on the Scottish Government's website. 

Other ways to keep in touch

Phone your older relatives and friends and ask if they need any essential food items or medicines and let them know if they do, you can help out. And while you’re on the phone, why don’t you have a chat? You could set up a rota with other family and friends to make sure someone is regularly giving them a ring to check in.

You may have introduced older relatives and friends to new technology, such as Skype or FaceTime, over lockdown which you could continue to use.

Don’t forget snail mail! Everyone loves getting letters and postcards, or just a note through the door.

And finally, another fun way to stay connected is to agree to watch the same TV programme and call for a chat about it afterwards.

2. Lend a hand

You could offer to drop off shopping for an older neighbour or relative. If they live further away from you and aren't familiar with technology, you could help by doing an online shop for them, or help them set up an online delivery themselves. 

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

You may also know an older person who would greatly appreciate some help with their pet during this time.

3. Show you care

Why not make homemade cards (a great project to do with the kids), send a postcard, even post small gifts to keep people’s spirits up or just write a good old-fashioned letter to an older friend or relative?

You can get totally creative with it. Share any pictures or videos of what you’re up to by tagging our Instagram or Twitter accounts.

It’s also important to keep active, even if you've been doing less due to COVID-19 restrictions. There are lots of small things you can do (or encourage older family and friends to do) to build up your activity levels - whether that’s moving around the house, doing some gardening, or going for a walk around the block. Age Scotland’s Body Boosting Bingo is a fun game that will help raise your heart rate, and importantly your mood.

4. Useful numbers and contacts

It can be helpful to know who you can call, especially if you think someone’s feeling isolated.

For practical information and advice, call Age Scotland’s Helpline 0800 12 44 222 (Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm)

If an older person you know does not have symptoms, but you or they are looking for general advice on Coronavirus, the dedicated NHS Scotland information line is 0800 028 2816.

For useful information on local services you can call your local council. You can follow this link to look up your council

5. Donate now

Demand for our vital services has increased rapidly. Help us keep our information and advice and independent living services running by donating today.

Help us support more older people

Demand for our vital services is increasing rapidly. Please help us be there for older people who desperately need us during this crisis.

The Age Scotland Helpline

Call our helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for free to speak to an adviser. Open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.

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