Coronavirus: Support for older people
The government has advised people aged over 70 to significantly limit their face-to-face interactions as part of the new social-distancing measures, designed to combat the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Please ensure you are keeping up to date with the latest advice and guidance:
Helpful links for older people:
- Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.
- Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK
- Government announce major new measures to protect people at highest risk from coronavirus
- Stay at home guidance: if you have a vulnerable person living with you.
- Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19) including advice on autism, dementia, learning disabilities, older people and mental health condition.
- Public information leaflet - by the Department of Health and Social Care.
- Consumer Alert - April 2020 - information relating to scams, fake resources and cold callers, produced by Lancashire County Council.
Social-distancing can be difficult for everyone and can be particularly challenging for elderly individuals who may rely on regular support. Simple things such as essential shopping, arranging medication and keeping in touch with family can easily become daunting and confusing, as change sometimes is.
It is also a time of increased stress for many which, combined with feelings of isolation, can leave lots of older people feeling overwhelmed and negatively impact their mental health.
In such times, with the NHS under increased amounts of pressure, it's important to know how to manage our mental health and wellbeing and also how to access appropriate, available services when they are needed.
To help, we have compiled a range of coronavirus information, online resources, support websites, advice helplines and available services:
- How to video call your family: step-by-step guide - produced by the BBC.
- A guide to living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty - produced by Psychology Tools.
- Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak - the Mental Health Foundation.
- Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health - by BBC News.
- Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak - published by the World Health Organisation.
- Get fit with Strength and Flex - a series of five podcasts designed to improve health and wellbeing.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, Age Concern Central Lancashire have pledged to support the elderly during periods of self-isolation and in order to protect their physical, social and emotional wellbeing:
To refer in to the service or to discuss volunteering, please contact Age Concern Central Lancashire by dialling:
Coronavirus Helpline: (01772) 552850 (Option Zero)
Or by visiting https://www.ageisjustanumber.org.uk/covid-19-referral/.
*The service aims to support elderly people across Lancashire but primarily within Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and the Fylde Coast.
Age UK have published a range of coronavirus-specific advice for older people including anxiety advice, coping tips, helpful hints for staying at home and much more.
They are also offering the following support service:
Visit the Age UK website to learn more.
To view the Alzheimer's Society update to services, please click the link below:
To access their website, please click here.
Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing:
- Connect - It is important to stay connected to friends and family whilst social distancing is recommended.
- Be active - Activity and exercise is key to feeling good.
- Take notice - Take notice of your feelings and thoughts and practice some mindfulness strategies at home.
- Learn - Stimulate the mind, create opportunities to learn new things.
- Give - Give yourself personal space and time to look after yourself.
Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life. Learn more at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing/
Or, click here to visit the NHS website.
Every Mind Matters:
Every Mind Matters is an NHS-approved service, created by Public Health England, which gives you simple and practical advice on your journey to a healthier, happier mind – from how to deal with stress and anxiety, to boosting our mood or sleeping better. It will help you spot the signs of common mental health conditions, get personalised practical self-care tips and information on further support.
Follow this link to the Every Mind Matters website.
The Samaritans offer support in times of crisis. They also provide support and information surrounding mental health and have established a section of their website dedicated to coronavirus resources.
Click here to visit the Samaritans website.
Lancashire Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They also campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Like the Samaritans, they have established dedicated coronavirus suppport resources:
Access the Mind website by clicking here.
Veteran's Gateway provides the first point of contact for veterans seeking support. The organisation puts veterans and their families in touch with the most appropriate support services for information and advice – from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.
They are currently offering 24/7 coronavirus support.
Visit the Veteran's Gateway Website to learn more.
- Age UK: 0800 055 6112, 8:00am - 7:00pm, 365 days a year.
Age UK also offer a regular telephone befriending service.
- Friends of the Elderly: 0330 332 1110 - a befriending service.
- The Silver Line: 0800 4 70 80 90, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Wellbeing and Mental Health helpline and Texting service
If you are experiencing mental health difficulties, the Wellbeing and Mental Health helpline is an information and listening service, available Monday - Friday, 7pm-11pm, Saturday and Sunday, 12pm-12am.
Simply dial, 0800 915 4640 (FREEPHONE).
Click here to view the Lancashire care mental health helpline website.
In an emergency or crisis:
The Crisis Team
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the crisis team on 01772 773433. You can self-refer into this specialist mental health service, but it is advised that you are registered with a GP practice.
For immediate, life threatening emergencies, call 999.
Do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Use the NHS 111 online service - you should only call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online.
We will continue to update this page so please check back again soon.