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Call for Suffolk communities to look after elderly in wake of coronavirus

Published on 16 March 2020 02:30 PM

Calls have been made for Suffolk communities to look out for elderly residents as concerns over coronavirus continue.

Older people and those with underlying health concerns have been found to be some of the most susceptible to the virus.

Suffolk has a high percentage of older people amongst its population. Data from July 2018 showed that around 23% of Suffolk's population, almost 170,000 people were aged over 65. Over 3%, around 24,000 people, were aged over 85.

As such, much work is being carried out to look after older people in the wake of the virus.

We are working hard to protect those within our care from the disease but we are asking that residents look out for one and other in the wake of the virus.

'We just need to be really cautious and take all the precautions we are told to take,' said Jo Reeder, Head of Fundraising & Marketing.

'We are following things day by day. As part of our work we will ensure that clients are able to access food supplies should wider spread self-isolation become more of an issue. With our home help clients we can do that for them if it gets to that point. We are very much following the Government and NHS advice and we are keeping a check on that all the time."

The news that the government is expecting to tell over-70s to stay at home at the height of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted us to look at ways of easing the danger of loneliness for people facing several months of self-isolation.

Andrew Gardner, chief executive of Age UK Suffolk, said: 'We are absolutely committed to the wellbeing of older people in our county and whilst we understand that the current news is frightening, we would urge everyone to heed government advice at all times.

'As an organisation, we are putting in place measures to ensure that we can continue to support older people through our service provision where possible - this will include telephone advice, telephone befriending and where possible continuation of our home help service. In addition to this, we will monitor our community engagement activities and follow the advice given.

'While this is sustainable in the shorter term, we will be looking at longer term interventions if there is an extended period of isolation and will be working with other local organisations to reach those people who are at their most vulnerable"

Get Advice from the NHS on what to do if you think you may have symptoms of, or been exposed to, coronavirus (COVID-19)